So remember when I accidentally discovered caramel last week while making the frosting for the Paleo German Chocolate Cupcakes? Well these Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars are what happens when you accidentally discover caramel. That and I have about 3 recipes I’m working on, all drenched in caramel. I love caramel, do you? I hadn’t realized how much I missed it until now. One of my readers suggested I make an apple pie, so I took that idea, along with my caramel recipe and got to work. Voila! I just like saying voila. I say it in a high pitched voice in my head. It makes me feel fancy. Like I’m a real chef. Speaking of real chef’s guess what I did last week? I went into Williams-Sonoma. I don’t normally like to do that sort of thing because when I see expensive kitchen gadgets it makes my dream kitchen seem so far away and my current kitchen seem that much worse. But I had to go in to visit “My Precious.” What’s “My Precious” you ask? Well it’s sure not some ring that I have to go throw in the pits of Mordor. It’s more like, remember in Wayne’s World when he goes into the guitar store to visit his white Fender Stratocaster and says, “You will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine.” Well that’s how I feel about “My Precious.” “My Precious” is a Copper Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and it’s only $899.99. That’s all. But did you see it, it’s COPPER! COPPER! You know how all I want is my big French Julia Child kitchen lined with copper pots, pans and appliances. So I went in to say hello, pet it, and whisper sweet nothings in it’s ear. Then I left deflated and with low self-esteem. Then I thought of Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars and all was right in the Shire again.
So how was your Fourth of July!? What did you guys do with all your days off? I bought a bow tie for my cat, watched the entire first and only season of Terra Nova, went for a run, went out to brunch, had a conversation about why they are called antacids vs. anti-acids, watched This is 40, made my American flag fruit tray, ate ribs, drank wine and skinny margaritas. It was fabulous. Life is almost good enough to eat. You know what else is good enough to eat? These Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars.
½ cup (64 g) maple sugar
¼ cup (35 g) coconut sugar
½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/56 g) salted butter or ¼ cup (55 g) ghee
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugars, coconut milk, and butter. Over low heat, whisk gently in one direction, so the butter doesn’t separate, until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is combined. Then turn the heat up to medium and bring to a soft boil, then add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk until combined.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk gently until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Place back over heat and boil for an additional 2 minutes to thicken further. Remove from the heat, whisk until mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Repeat this process for a total of four times. The caramel should be the consistency of thick soup.
3. Cool slightly. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. Refrigerate to cool and thicken completely or freeze for extra-thick caramel. As the caramel comes back up to room temperature it will begin to thin slightly and return to a pourable state.
4. Set aside 1/2 a cup of caramel to drizzle on top of your Paleo Apple Pie bars.
Paleo Apple Pie Bars
*Makes 9 bars
2 cups thinly sliced apples, peeled and cored (4-5 apples)
1 & 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (sifted)
3/4 cups coconut flour
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold grass-fed butter (or ghee)
3 cage-free egg yolks
1/4 cup canned coconut milk, full fat (room temp.)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Then grease an 8×8 glass pan. Now peel, core and cut your apples into thin slices.
2. After you have set aside 1/2 cup of caramel, take a medium sized bowl and mix the sliced apples into the remaining caramel and set aside.
3. In a large bowl use a fork to mix together your dry ingredients, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Now cut your cold butter into small squares and mix into the dry ingredients using a hand mixer or whisk until pea sized balls start to form. Then set aside.
4. In a small bowl combine the 3 eggs yolks, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Make a crater in the center of the dry mix and pour the egg mixture into the center. Now stir the dry mix into the wet until combined, at this point you’ll have little dough balls. Divide the dough in half and separate it into two sections. Take one half and press evenly into the bottom of your greased 8×8 glass pan.
5. Take the caramel soaked apples and place evenly over the pressed dough at the bottom of the pan. Now use the other half of the dough and pat evenly over the sliced apples until completely covered. Using a small bowl or cup make an egg wash using the egg white and tablespoon of water, use a basting brush to brush the egg wash on top of the dough. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and you hear the apples sizzling.
6. Let cool and then slice into squares. Drizzle the 1/2 cup of remaining caramel over the top and enjoy.
For the apples I used a variety, I read somewhere that the best apple pies are made out of mixed apple types instead of just one. I used Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, and Golden. I used about 5 apples total.
When I was making the caramel I made Brad try it because it tasted ridiculously good. He liked it a lot, he even exclaimed, “Yum!” after he tried it. Before I put the bars in the oven he came over to see what I was doing and said, “I want some of that.” Then went back to watching TV. That’s a good sign right? After the bars were done I served him a piping hot Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bar drenched in caramel. He ate the whole thing and then in his, “It’s good, but…” voice said, “It’s good but…it’s too hot.” I guess I got too excited because they looked and smelled so good, so I didn’t exactly let them cool properly and I thought they tasted so good that I desperately needed a second opinion so…I also got excited because they, “didn’t taste too Paleo.” Score. So in the honor of the Fourth of July I present to you these Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars, because what’s more American than Apple Pie?! Go make these bars, seriously, they’re insane. You know I don’t like anything that’s not chocolate (#fact) and I LOVED these bars. This caramel discovery is a game changer. So the real question now is do I make another caramel treat next week or make a real food dish? But I don’t even like real food! Here I go, getting an attitude. Maybe we need to put it to another Facebook vote? Or maybe it’s my blog so I do what I want? I guess you’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out. It’s like LOST but it actually makes sense.