When I had to make cakes for a work meeting the other week, I knew straight away that coffee and caramelised white chocolate cupcakes would be on the menu, but choosing a second bake proved a little trickier.
The pony thought I should stick with something simple (read: chocolate) and a straw poll in the office put cheesecake in with a shout, but in the end I was swayed by the incredible looking maple, pear and pecan treacle tarts posted by the Little Loaf, and ended up adapting that recipe to make these bars.
I turned it into a traybake as I was a bit short on time and didn’t want to faff around lining individual tart tins, slightly altered the ratio of maple to golden syrup to keep the cost down, and swapped pear for apple, just because.
These bars actually made me quite nervous – I thought they were great but I really didn’t know how well they would go down with everyone else.
Luckily I needn’t have worried as they were a winner – the lunchers loved them and my boss even said they would be in his top 3 pick of everything I’ve ever baked, which is a pretty good endorsement!
I served them at room temperature, which was good as it was actually a rare sunny day, but I can only imagine how amazing they would be warm with a scoop of ice cream on a chilly autumn or winter evening… Definitely worth revisiting the recipe to try!
Apple, maple and pecan bars (adapted from The Little Loaf)
For the pastry:
- 65g butter
- 100g plain flour
- 30g icing sugar
- 1 medium egg yolk
For the filling:
- 35g butter
- 150g maple syrup
- 200g golden syrup
- 150g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 granny smith apple (115g) grated
- 50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
To make the pastry, beat the butter and sugar until well mixed, add the egg yolk and beat again, then finally add the flour and mix until just combined. Tip the mixture into a greased and lined 8×8″ square tin and press down with your fingertips – this is loads easier than rolling it out and a method I will definitely use more in the future!
Prick the base with a fork and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes while the oven pre-heats to 180 degrees, then bake for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Leave to cool while you make the filling.
Heat the butter, maple syrup and golden syrup until melted (you don’t need to bring it to the boil, just get everything nice and liquidy). Stir in the breadcrumbs, grated apple and chopped pecans, then spread in an even layer on top of the base.
Return to the oven and bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until set and just crisping up around the edges. Leave to cool before slicing into bars.