Tender apple slices perfectly spiced with cinnamon over a shortbread crust with a streusel topping, these Paleo Apple Pie Bars get even better with a drizzle of my homemade caramel. They’re naturally gluten free with a dairy free option as well. They’re also made with a secret ingredient, orange juice, for even more depth of flavor.
Shortbread and Streusel:
2 1/2 cup fine almond flour
3 Tablespoons tapioca starch, see notes
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds, not toasted
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon orange zest, see notes
6 Tablespoons ghee, butter, or coconut oil for Vegan, melted
6 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon tapioca starch
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
pinch of sea salt
3 medium sized baking apples, Granny Smith or McIntosh are my favorites, 1lb 4 oz
Caramel Sauce to drizzle over the top
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut 2 strips of parchment paper for an 11″x7″ baking dish, one for the width, and one for the length. Then line the pan pressing the paper down into the corners.
For the shortbread and streusel, mix together the almond flour, tapioca starch, sea salt, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and orange zest until combined. Add the melted ghee/butter/coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, mixing until completely combined.
Pat 2/3 of the shortbread and streusel mixture into the lined baking dish, reserving the remaining 1/3 for the topping.
Set the crust aside while you make the apple filling. In a large bowl, mix together the cinnamon, tapioca, caramel sauce, orange juice, and sea salt until combined.
Either by hand or using an apple/peeler/corer/slicer, peel and cut the apples into 1/4″ slices. Add the slices to the bowl with the orange juice mixture, and toss to combine.
Evenly layer the apples over the top of the crust, and crumble the remaining 1/3 of the shortbread and streusel mixture over the top of the apples.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, placing a foil tent over the top of the bars after 20 minutes. When the bars are bubbling and the apple slices are tender, remove them from the oven to a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes.
When the bars are cool enough to lift out, using both sides of the parchment paper, carefully lift them out and drizzle with caramel sauce.
Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. If you have any leftovers, these keep well for up to 2 days on the counter, or refrigerated.
The shortbread and streusel will soften by the second day, but you can always crisp them up in the oven at 200ºF for a few minutes.
I’ve had many readers write in to say they’ve successfully subbed in either cornstarch or arrowroot for tapioca in my recipes. I personally like to work with tapioca, but hopefully this will help if you can’t have it.
I like to grate citrus zest for all my recipes with a microplane grate so there’s no large chewy bits of rind.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 50
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars, Apple Pie Streusel Bars, Almond Flour Apple Pie Bars