My husband isn’t partial to summer fruit- with the exception of freshly picked strawberries. He loves bananas, Bartlett pears, and cantaloupe. 🙂 Before the summer berry and peach baking season, I made these pie bars to embrace sweet and juicy Bartlett pears.
The bars have a Danish-style pie crust which very tender because it incorporates milk and egg yolks instead of ice water. It was really delicious. I also loved the cream cheese glaze spread over the top.
This recipe was adapted from 100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, and More by Sarah Kieffer. I weighed most of the dry ingredients as well as the peeled and cored fruit. I also used fine sea salt and omitted the brandy.
It was a wonderful springtime dessert but it would also be fabulous for Thanksgiving.
For the Crust:
1/2 cup (120 g) whole milk, plus 1 or 2 T if needed
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups (355 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 T granulated sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 cup (2 sticks or 227 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 20 pieces
For the Apple-Pear Filling:
8 cups (1100 g) Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced 4mm thick (I used 6 organic pears)
1 cup (150 g) peeled and grated Gala apples (I used one large Gala apple)
1/3 cup (65 g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar, plus 2 T for sprinkling
3 T cornstarch
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T brandy (I omitted it)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Egg Wash:
1 large egg
pinch of fine sea salt
1 T (15 g) water
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
2 oz (57 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 T whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt
1 to 1 1/4 cups (120 to 145 g) confectioners’ sugar
To Make the Crust:
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the milk and egg yolks. Place in the refrigerator.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, granulated sugar, and salt on low speed until combined.
Add half of the chilled butter and mix on low speed until the butter is just starting to break down, about 1 minute.
Add the rest of the butter and continue mixing until the butter is broken down in various sizes. (most should be the size of small peas but some pieces may be larger) Make sure that all of the flour is moistened.
With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the milk-egg mixture, and mix until the dough starts to come together. If the dough is having trouble coming together, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of milk.
Divide the dough in half, place each piece on a separate piece of plastic wrap and flatten each slightly into a square.
Cover and refrigerate until cool but still soft, about 45 minutes.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll one square of the dough into a 9×13-inch rectangle (22×33 cm). (I covered the top with plastic wrap and rolled the dough 1/8-inch thick, using a bench scraper to cut pieces and patch to form the proper shape.)
Transfer the dough to a 9×13-inch metal baking pan. Gently pat the dough into the bottom. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Roll out the second square of dough into a 9×13-inch (22 by 33 cm) rectangle using the same method. Place on an inverted sheet pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
To Make the Filling:
Use a food processor to slice the pears 4mm thick and coarsely grate the apple(s).
Combine the sliced pears, grated apple, brown sugar, 1/4 cup (4 T or 50g) granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the melted butter, brandy (if using), and vanilla. Pour over the pear-apple mixture and toss to combine.
To Make the Egg Wash:
Whisk the egg, salt, and water together in a small bowl; set aside.
Fill the prepared pie shell with the pear-apple mixture and smooth the top.
Remove the top crust chilling on the inverted sheet pan from the refrigerator. Place the dough over the top of the filling. (It does not need to be sealed to the bottom layer.) Trim any excess with kitchen shears or a sharp knife.
Gently cut a few steam vents into the top layer of dough. (I cut 11 vents.)
Chill the pie in the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place a sheet pan on the oven rack while the oven is preheating. (The preheated sheet pan helps crisp the bottom of the pie crust.)
When the pie is ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with the 2 T reserved granulated sugar.
Transfer the pie to the preheated sheet pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. (I baked mine for 50 minutes.)
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool while you make the icing.
To Make the Cream Cheese Glaze:
In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to mix the cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Add 1 cup (120 g) of the confectioners’ sugar and mix again until smooth. If the mixture is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
Once the bars are cool, top them with the glaze; spread to the edges.
Note: The pie bars are best eaten the same day they are made but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
I am not usually the biggest fan of Thanksgiving stuffing but I was in love with this version. This classic Southern stuffing had wonderful flavor and a perfect balance of crunchy and custardy texture. Perfect. It will definitely be part of my Thanksgiving menu next year.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Josh Miller. The skillet cornbread is baked in a piping hot cast iron skillet sprinkled with salt- resulting in a fabulously crispy crust. This cornbread would be delicious on its own as well. I made the cornbread a day in advance. The stuffing can be completely assembled one day before serving and baking.
4 cups torn (1-inch pieces) white Pullman bread slices
3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 ounces), melted, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups chopped Gala apple
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
3 1/2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
Toss together 5 cups cornbread cubes, torn white bread, 1/2 cup melted butter, and sage in a large bowl.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high. In 2 batches, add cornbread mixture to skillet; cook, stirring, until bread is toasted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer corn-bread mixture to a large bowl, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean.
Add bacon to skillet; cook over medium, stirring often, until crisp, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon; add to cornbread mixture.
Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in skillet; discard remaining drippings or reserve for another use.
Add onion, apple, celery, parsley, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add onion mixture to cornbread mixture.
Crumble remaining 5 cups cubed cornbread into cornbread mixture.
Whisk together 3 cups broth, eggs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl until blended. Fold into cornbread mixture.
Spoon mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup broth and remaining 1/4 cup melted butter. Bake in preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 35 minutes.
Note: Dressing may be assembled up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill until ready to bake. Bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature in the center of the casserole is 165 degrees.
This pie is Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen’s updated Perfect Apple Pie to her “Even More Perfect Apple Pie.” I had to try it because the filling is loaded with an enormous amount of apples. Yum.
She introduced me to a new technique which I was very surprised to have never seen before or thought of myself! She covers the pie with a foil dome to prevent the crust from over-browning. Absolute genius.
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com. The updated pie recipe modifies the baking temperature and cooking time, increases volume of apples (with a link on how to choose pie apples), decreases the thickness of the apple slices, omits the lemon juice and zest, and uses tapioca as the thickener.
The incredible mound of apple filling keeps the finished pie from becoming concave after baking. Beautiful and delicious.
Yield: Serves 8 to 12
For the Filling:
1/2 cup (95 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground cinnnamon
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste, or about 1/4 teaspoon ground
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 1/4 to 4 1/2 pounds baking apples (I used a combination of several types of apples)
3 T tapioca flour or starch (I used minute tapioca)
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour
1 T (15 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
1 egg, lightly beaten, optional
coarse or raw sugar for sprinkling, optional
vanilla ice cream, optional
Make the Filling:
Combine sugars, salt, and spices in your absolutely largest bowl.
Peel, halve, and core your apples and cut them into thin (scant 1/4-inch) slices, adding them right to the big bowl.
Toss to coat the slices as much as possible. Set aside for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature.
Make the Crust:
Gather your ingredients: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside.
In a large, very wide bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces. (If the butter becomes slightly warm, re-refrigerate until very cold.)
Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with a pastry blender, using it to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly.
When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop- even if it looks uneven.
Start by drizzling 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes, if there are any left!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together.
Add an additional 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cold water to bring it together, one tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and use your hands to gather the damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.
Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk.
Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out. (I make my dough a day in advance.)
Once the dough is chilled and ready to go, roll out the first half on a well-floured counter into a 14-inch circle and transfer it to 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate.
With scissors or kitchen shears, trim overhang to one inch all around. Refrigerate dish and dough until needed.
For a regular pie lid, roll out the second dough half into the same sized circle, transfer it to a large parchment-lined baking sheet and chill this as well until needed. For a lattice or woven pie lid, you can use the same sized circle, or you can just roll it into a rectangle at least 14″ in one direction, and then as long or wide you can get it in the other. Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill this as well until needed. (I made a 10-piece lattice top.)
Do ahead: Dough will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.
To Make the Pie:
Heat the oven to 400°F, preferably on convection.
Stir tapioca starch into the apple pie filling.
Pour filling into prepared bottom crust and use your hands to pack and heap those softened apples as mounded as you can get them, then add a few more.
Pour any juices that have accumulated carefully over apples; do not leave any behind.
Either place your second pie dough round over the filling or cut it into strips to lattice the top.
Trim the top crust or lattice strips to the edge of the pie dish. Fold the overhang from the lower crust over to form a thick rim, and crimp it together with your fingers or a fork to seal it.
Brush top crust with egg, then sprinkle with sugar if desired. If your top crust is in one piece, cut a few vents in it with a sharp knife.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on the large baking sheet for easier cleanup, then transfer your prepared pie onto it.
Bake for 75 minutes, turning once or twice for even color. If your pie is browning too fast, take a large square of foil, mold it over the back of a large bowl into a convex dome, then use that to cover the pie in the oven for the remaining baking time so it doesn’t brown much further. The pie is done when juices are bubbling visibly through the vents or lattice, or when the internal temperature reads 195°F. A tester inserted into the pie shouldn’t hit any overtly crunchy apple pieces. (I added an additional 10 minutes to the baking time t achieve the 195°F internal temperature.)
To Serve: Cool pie for at least one hour at room temperature before cutting into it. However, your filling will not fully thicken until it has fully cooled, ideally in the fridge for a couple hours. You can rewarm slices as you serve them, if desired. Leftovers keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and in the fridge for 1 week. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
This was my go-to summer pie for years. I had forgotten about it somehow. This time, I made it with white peaches and upgraded the crust to my favorite Martha Stewart paté brisée. I also sweetened the filling with maple syrup. Wonderful!
This recipe was adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. The peaches can be substituted with apples for a fall version. A handful of chopped nuts can also be sprinkled over the filling.
Yield: one 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups plus 2 T all-purpose flour
generous 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 stick plus 1 T (9 T total) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
4 T ice water
To Make the Crust:
Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
Add the cubed, cold butter and pulse until resembles small peas.
While the food processor is running, drizzle in the ice water until dough forms.
Remove and form into a ball on a large sheet of plastic wrap.
Roll out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and place in a pie dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
For the Pie:
2 to 3 cups peeled and thinly sliced peaches (or tart apples or pitted dark cherries)(I used 3 large white peaches)
1 unbaked pie crust (recipe above)
4 large or extra-large eggs
5 T pure maple syrup, light brown sugar, or honey
8 oz (1 cup) whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
To Make the Pie:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection.
To peel the peaches: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Using a sharp knife, mark the base of each peach with a small “x”. One at a time, place each peach in the boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and briefly let cool. Remove skin.
Place the chilled pie crust on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Spread the fruit slices evenly over the unbaked pie crust.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and whip until frothy. (I used a Vitamix.)
Pour the custard over the fruit in the pie dish. (If desired, a small handful of chopped nuts can be sprinkled over the filling at this time.)
Cover the pie edge with a shield, and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until solid in the center. I tented the entire pie with foil after 35 minutes.
Cool at least 1 hour before slicing. This pie tastes best at room temperature or cold.
I have never made an apple pie that I didn’t enjoy. Apple pie is delicious! 😉 But, I am still seeking a pie that I absolutely love- a pie that will end the search for the perfect pie.
This pie was lovely, with notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I used a combination of apples and sliced them in a food processor. The pie crust incorporated vodka to ensure a flaky result; my Mother-in-law always utilizes this trick. The filling, thickened with tapioca and apple butter, held together perfectly. I baked it the day before Thanksgiving and it kept well at room temperature.
I served it at the end of our Thanksgiving feast along with my favorite Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and Pecan Pie Bars. Most of us eat small slices of whichever dessert strikes our fancy- topped with either whipped cream or served with vanilla ice cream. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.
Yield: One 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
2 ½cups/300 grams all-purpose flour
½teaspoon/2.5 grams coarse salt
2 ½sticks/20 tablespoons/285 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
4tablespoons/60 ml vodka
¼ to ½cup ice water
For the Filling:
3pounds/1 1/3 kilograms apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (1/8-inch) (I used a combination of Sweet Tango, Envy, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples)
½cup/99 grams granulated sugar, more as needed
2tablespoons/30 grams dark brown sugar
2tablespoons/30 grams quick-cooking tapioca
1 ½teaspoons/3 grams ground cinnamon
1teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
¼teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 ½tablespoons/22 ml lemon juice
3tablespoons/45 grams apple butter
heavy cream or milk, as needed
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, as needed
vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
To Make the Crust:
In a food processor, pulse together flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add butter and pulse until mixture forms 3/4-inch pieces.
Mix vodka with 4 tablespoons ice water (or use 1/2 cup ice water).
Add half the ice water mixture to dough, pulse a few times, then continue adding liquid a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together (you might not use all the liquid). Dough should be moist, but not wet, and hold together when pinched. If there are visible pieces of butter in the dough, all the better.
Between layers of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, gather dough into a ball. Remove a third of the dough and form into a disk. Form remaining dough into a disk.
Cover both tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.
To Complete the Pie:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger disk to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
While dough chills, heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Line chilled crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed. (You can bake the crust up to 24 hours in advance.)
Toss apples with sugars, tapioca, spices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Fold in apple butter. Transfer apples to crust and press gently to make sure fruit is tightly packed.
Roll out remaining dough disk to a 10-inch round. Use a knife to cut strips 1 3/4 inches wide (or desired width). Arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern.
Brush top of crust with heavy cream or milk. Sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 1 hour 15 minutes more.
Let pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche.
I’ve had baking a French Apple Cake on my bucket list for a long time. A celebratory Valentine’s Day dessert was my excuse! ❤ This version was custardy and absolutely wonderful. We ate it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream but it could also served with a dollop of softly whipped cream.
This recipe was adapted from Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhotse, a top editor of Louis Vuitton City Guides (and a restaurant critic for the Paris edition), published in Around my French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, via Epicurious.com.
Greenspan emphasized the importance of using diverse fruit in the cake to include crisp, soft, sweet, and tart apples for the best result. I used a combination of Fuji, Granny Smith, Envy, and Opal apples. I also increased the vanilla, and substituted apple cider for the rum. Delicious!
Yield: Serves 8
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of coarse salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum or fresh apple cider
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
whipped cream of ice cream, for serving
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection.
Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy.
Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend.
Whisk in the rum/apple cider and vanilla.
Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.
Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter.
Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.)
Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
To Serve: The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène’s served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.
Note: The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature. (The flavor may even improve with time!) The cake is too moist to cover completely; leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.
I have to interrupt my Thanksgiving side dish posts (I know you’re upset! 😉 ) to share this indulgent, crowd-pleasing dessert. (A request by my dear friend who plans to make it for her Christmas Eve feast.)
Recently, my kids and their friends performed in a holiday concert at our house. This was our third annual concert! Everyone brings an appetizer and we eat while the kids rehearse. This year, the concert was upgraded to incorporate a microphone and some stand-up comedy. The parents were asked to perform as well. Special and fun. 🙂
Along with the appetizers, I always feel the need to include a dessert (as I love any excuse to bake). These pie bars had caught my eye and were perfect to serve at a large gathering. The recipe was adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, via Barefoot Contessa.com. I baked them in a parchment-lined pyrex dish, used pecans instead of walnuts, (predominantly) Fuji apples instead of golden delicious, and topped it with a brown butter glaze inspired by Joy the Baker. Delicious!
Yield: Makes 18 to 24 bars
For the Crust:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Apple Filling:
3 pounds mixed apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick (I used predominantly Fuji apples with 1-2 Granny Smith and 1 Red Delicious)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
For the Browned Butter Glaze:
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cups powdered sugar
milk, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency
pinch of coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection. Line a 9×13-inch pyrex baking pan with parchment paper.
Make the Crust: Place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.
With the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, beating until combined.
Scatter two-thirds of the dough in clumps in the prepared pan and press it lightly with floured hands on the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Par-Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and set aside to cool. (While the crust is still warm, I use a spoon to gently push the edge of the crust back up the side.)
Meanwhile, Make the Topping: Put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back on the mixer, add the nuts and cinnamon, and mix on low-speed to combine. Set aside.
Reduce the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
Make the Filling: Combine the apples and lemon juice in a very large bowl.
Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.
Melt the butter in a large (10-inch-diameter) pot, add the apples, and simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Spread the apples evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples (they will not be covered).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is browned. Cool completely.
Make the Glaze: In a small pot, melt butter. Continue to cook until browned and fragrant.
In a small bowl, whisk together browned butter, powdered sugar, a splash of milk, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth. Add milk as needed until drizzling consistency is achieved.
Spoon into a ziplock bag and cut a tiny tip off one corner of the bag.
Drizzle glaze over cooled bars before slicing.
Cut into bars of desired size.
Store, wrapped individually or covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (Without the glaze, the bars can be kept at room temperature.)