The first time that I heard about apple butter, I was very confused. It’s a bit of a misnomer of course — there is no daily in this butter! In essence, it is just very concentrated apple sauce. Sort of a jam. Not even close to being a jelly. The nice thing: it works great as an addition to pies and makes a great filling for these bars. You can of course make it yourself, but it seems to be readily available in the shops these days too.
for the crust and topping
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to just warm
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
2 cups apple butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
Create a foil or parchment sling for your 9×13 inch baking dish or spray generously with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks with a spoon until smooth. Add in the flour and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Remove 2 cups of the crust mixture and press into the lined pan. Set the unused portion of the crust aside covered with plastic wrap, but not in the refrigerator. Place the pan in the freezer for 30-60 minutes or so; the chilling of the crust prevents it from expanding and rising too much during baking.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Remove the crust from the freezer and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the sides are lightly browned. Then remove from the oven, and increase oven temperature to 350F. Spread the apple butter on top, and sprinkle the left over crust mixture on top along with the chopped walnuts. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the streusel is lightly browned.
Allow the pan to cool completely before taking the bars out of the pan. Remove the bars by lifting out with the sling and cut.