Monday, February 25, 2013

Recipe: Raspberry Crumble Bars

Raspberry Crumble Bars

With the warm and fuzzy feelings of Valentine's Day still in my system, I found myself craving something pretty to look at and sweet to eat, and these raspberry crumble bars from my pal Gastronomy Blog totally fit the bill. This relatively simple recipe turned out smashingly, yielding a perfectly crumbly, buttery crust and deliciously tart filling. Between home and my office, we're burning through them pretty quickly. Here's the recipe:

For the crust and crumb:

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
* 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:

* 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 pound raspberries (fresh or frozen)
* 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

*Makes 24 bars

1) Make the crust and crumb

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13 inch glass/Pyrex or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on the ends (This will make it easier to remove the bars from the pan once they are baked). Butter the parchment.

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

I was feeling too lazy to bust out the food processor and, as you can see, opted to use my blender. The blender, however, was decidedly too weak for the task and ending up slowing me down a good deal. If you have a food processor, let me be a cautionary tale-- use it! 

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Don't forget this important step!

Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands, a measuring cup or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

2) Make the raspberry filling

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Raspberry Crumble Bars

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter, and toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

3) Assemble and bake the bars

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.
4) Enjoy!

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