Saturday, August 26, 2017

Berry Pie Crumb Bars

This is an excellent recipe for when you need to use up a bunch of berries, want a special yet portable dessert, or just want juicy pie filling but don't feel like making crust.

I like to use part oat flour in the crumb mixture because it gives the topping a nice chewy texture and slightly rustic flavor, but it's fine without that. I make oat flour by running oatmeal through a kitchen mill, but a blender, spice grinder, or food processor would do the trick. The oat flour doesn't have to be super fine.

I'm guessing you could use more berries because this was nowhere near too juicy. You'd need to proportionally increase the other filling ingredients to compensate for any extra berries but crumbs could remain the same.

2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 cup oat flour (or 3 cups all-purpose flour would work fine)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of coriander (optional, but it tastes good)
2 sticks cold salted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Berry Filling
5 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, or a mix (I used all blueberries)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup white sugar (to taste, use less for sweeter berries and more for tart berries. I used wild blueberries that were a little on the tart side and 1/3 cup sugar was perfect for my not too sweet taste)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9x13 pan.Whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form and butter is well incorporated. Stir in vanilla and egg with a fork until evenly distributed. Dough will be crumbly.

Pat half the dough into the prepared pan, pressing it down a bit to even it out and stick it together, creating a solid bottom crust.

In another bowl, toss berries with lemon juice, then sugar, salt and flour. Gently toss or mix until flour coats all the berries. Pour berries over the bottom crust, sprinkling any excess flour, sugar, or juices from the bowl evenly across the surface.

Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top of the berries, spreading them as evenly as you can. If a few berries peek through, that's fine.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until berries are bubbling and the top is slightly browned.

Allow to cool completely before cutting or the bars will not be set. Keeps very well in the fridge.

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