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My name is Lucy and I have never blogged before. Well that's a lie. I have, but it was this one, and I neglected it for a little while... I live in a commuter town outside London having moved here about a year and a half ago after making some pretty big changes in my life. I share a beautiful little cottage on the Grand Union Canal with 1 crazy beautiful little girl and an equally crazy cat called Bandit (appropriately named as he now lives in all the houses on the street and steals...). Lawyer/working mum and it would appear, terminally single (I've reserved my spinster plaque already) I was fortunate to escape the evil commute about a year ago but seem to have less time than ever.... If I entertain you, make you laugh or fume (or make you have an emotion of ANY description) then my job is done. Enjoy x

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars (or how I broke my stick blender)

apple + cinnamon = love


I'm super serial. 

I really do love apple and cinnamon in pretty much any form.  Plus I can convince myself that I'm eating healthy if I opt for apple pie over chocolate cake.  Its fruit right!?

We are on a bit of a family health kick right now and I am currently a huge fan of the Eating Well website.  Its a great resource and gives easy-to-follow recipes for healthy eating, like 500 calorie dinners that are actually tasty.  So, I did a little searching on the website and found a recipe for Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars (at a fabulous 193 calories a bar!).

The recipe - Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars adapted from the Eating Well website

For the Crust:
cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup rolled oats
1½ cup plain flour

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp almond extract

For the Apple Filling: 
6 cups diced peeled apples, divided (possibly extra if little fingers keep stealing it)

½ cup apple juice

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cornflour

1½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. To prepare crust: Mix together the nuts and oats.  Combine ¾ cup of the nuts/oats mixture with the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until well incorporated.

Or at least this is how it should have gone had my stick blender not made a popping noise, stopped and then emanated an unpleasant burning smell.  Not to worry!  We have a Cuisinart US stick blender....which hubby plugged in and blew the step-down.  So now no stick blender and Berta's out of action until I replace the step-down.  I was not (and am still not) a happy bunny.

I therefore took my rolling pin and did my best to beat the mixture and then mush the butter into it with a fork.  For the rest of the recipe then I had to improvise:

2. Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the nuts/oats mixture and mash and the the mixture begins to come together.  Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F (about 200°C). Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

4. To prepare fruit filling & assemble bars: Combine 4 cups apples, apple juice, sugar and cornflour in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 cups apples, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

5. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust.. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.

6. Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (about 175°C) and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1 1/2 hours.

These were pretty yummy and totally more-ish.  On the one hand you have a "healthy" sweet snack (starts well) and then on the other hand you kinda can't stop eating it (ends badly).  So as with most things it starts with good intentions and then...well you find you've eaten the entire tray...


1 comment:

  1. Hello there, I know it's been a while since you've been posting - I hope that you're still following things. I just wanted to say that these look delicious and I was wondering if you’d like to enter this recipe into our Gourmandize Giveaway recipe competition. This month the theme is apples so it would be perfect, and there are nice prizes to win – let me know what you think: