Miso Apple Bars
ACTIVE: 40 min TOTAL: 2¾ hrs
(including 11/2 hrs cooling time)
TO MAKE AHEAD: Store bars airtight at room temperature for up to 1 day.
EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper
Miso is not just for soup! This fermented bean paste’s rich umami flavor balances the sweetness of these apple bars. More ways to use it: whisk into a dressing or stir into sautéed vegetables with a bit of butter too.
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter,
at room temperature, divided
1 cup light brown sugar, divided 4 tablespoons white miso, divided
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups white whole-wheat flour 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and chopped
21/2 tablespoons lemon juice
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving extra hanging over two sides.
2. Combine 10 tablespoons butter, ¾ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons miso, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour, cardamom and salt; mix until just combined. Refrigerate 1 cup for the topping and press the remaining dough into the prepared pan. Chill for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Bake the crust until the edges are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons each butter and miso in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 18 minutes. Spread over the crust. Mix pecans into the reserved topping and crumble over the top.
6. Bake the bars until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan, about 11/2 hours, before cutting into 18 bars.
SERVES 18: 1 bar each
CAL 244 / FAT 10G (SAT 5G) / CHOL 31MG / CARBS 36G / TOTAL SUGARS 18G (ADDED 12G) / PROTEIN 4G / FIBER 4G / SODIUM 161MG / POTASSIUM 127MG.