One of my favorite parts of summer is the bounty of fresh fruit. It’s so refreshing to have delicious and CHEAP berries and stone fruits readily available for snacking and baking.
We’ve gone fruit picking twice this summer: the first time for raspberries, and second for peaches. We went down to the Niagara region for our peaches, and managed to snag a respectable 7 pounds of peaches in the midst of a on-again-off-again thunderstorm.
Our raspberries were consumed pretty quickly, but we had a bounty of quickly ripening peaches that needed to be cooked, stat. So we made this peach and cherry bourbon pie.
(Note: David helped me assemble this lattice. It’s definitely the most fancy decorative top I’ve attempted, and came after several much uglier and easier lattice tops. If this failed, my backup plan was to go for the “abstract stripe” look.)
Anyways, I had some leftover filling from the pie, so I decided to try out this recipe for crumb bars. The original recipe calls for blueberries (which I imagine would be delicious), but peaches and cherries were what I had. And they’re delicious here — as would be raspberries, nectarines, strawberry and rhubarb, etc. You just might need to slightly adjust the amount of sugar and cornstarch for the fruit portion depending on how sweet and juicy your fruits are (I used the upper end of the cornstarch and drained my very juicy peaches and cherries as well as I could).
Anyhow, the beauty of this recipe, besides its flexibility in the fruit department, is how simple it is to whip up. I love making pies and crumbles and cakes, but sometimes you just want to make something that doesn’t involve rolling pins, fussy eggbeating, or floured surfaces. This is that kind of recipe.
Fruit Crumb Bars
Makes one 9″ x 13″ pan
- 1 1/2 cup (300 g) white sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), cut into pieces
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 4 cups fresh fruit, peeled and diced if needed (I used a mixture of peaches and cherries; any kind of berry would work well too)
- 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
- In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the fruit. Sprinkle the fuit mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the fruit layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.