As the weather cools down and the leaves are falling I begin to resort to comfort type foods to cozy up with and indulge in. Of course, not all comfort foods mean unhealthy. I wanted to take a traditional autumn dessert and have a healthy, tea infused spin on it.
I have recently been addicted to Quest Bars. If you haven't heard of them before they are protein bars that come in many delicious flavours. I always think I have a favourite until I try another flavour and realize it's just as delicious. Quest Bars are different from most commercial protein bars because they have a short list of ingredients and ones you can pronounce. In today's recipe, I felt inspired from their Apple Pie Quest Bar and of course, had to involve tea in it some way, some how. With 20 grams of protein, this bar is perfect when you don't want chocolate but are craving something sweet.
This fall inspired recipe is done in two parts - the over night pickling process and then the pie making. You will want to make sure you prepare the pickled apples the night before you make the apple pie crumble to get maximum flavour. If you have leftover apple slices in your pickling jar, you can store them in your fridge for 2 weeks. They are tasty as is, or great to top on salads, ice cream and more!
Masala Chai Pickled Apple Pie Crumble
(makes one mini apple pie)
1 medium apple, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Masala Chai (I used this one from The Persimmon Tree)
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon & Ground ginger
1. Combine the vinegar with water, sugar and salt into a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
3. Turn off the heat and add the Masala Chai directly to the saucepan. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
4. Depending on your taste, and the chai used, you may want to mix a pinch of cinnamon and/or ginger to the pot.
5. Fill a jar (mason works well, but any glass will do as long as it has a lid) with your apple slices.
6. As you strain the tea leaves from the pot, pour the pickled mixture over the apples into the jar.
7. Seal the jar tightly and refrigerate overnight.
The following day…
Apple Pie Crumble Ingredients
1 tablespoon Oats
Masala Chai Pickled Apples
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree fahrenheit.
2. In a greased round baking tray, flatten 3/4 of your Apple Pie Quest Bar to create a base for the dessert. You will want to save the other 1/4 for later.
3. Take your Masala Chai Pickled Apples and layer them on top of the base. If it helps, you can slice the apples into strips. I like to create a checkerboard design with them.
4. Break the last bit of the quest bar into pieces and sprinkle it on top along with the oats and cinnamon. Add as much cinnamon you like, as everyone has different preferences. I even topped it off with crushed up masala chai for that extra boost.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and allow it to bake for 10 minutes. You want the apples and Quest Bar to be warm and soft.