Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Peach Strawberry Crumble Bars

Summer is (almost) finally here and that means outdoor eating is upon us. My first beach BBQ is this weekend and I was put in charge of burgers and dessert. Actually I self-appointed the dessert because I wanted to try to make a dessert that doesn't require refrigeration, heat or a la mode (although it certainly doesn't hurt ever) but still has the taste of the summer. And summer desserts always mean summer fruits. This dessert is the carry around version of a fruit crumble. And it is a summer BBQ winner!

Peach Strawberry Crumble Bars 

1 1/2 cups ap flour
1 cup cornmeal 
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbs white sugar 
2 tbs milk 
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, slightly softened 
3/4 tsp vanilla extract 

1 1/2 lbs strawberries, sliced thin 
3 almost rip peaches, sliced thin
1 heaping tbs basil, minced 
1 1/2 tbs white sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp lemon juice
1tsp cornstarch 

Crumble Topping 
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened 
1 cup rolled oats 
1/2 cup ap flour 
3/4 cup light brown sugar 
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon

3 medium mixing bowls
Mixing spoons
Measuring cups/spoons
9x13 greasers casserole/baking dish
Cutting board
Chopping knife 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

In first bowl make the bar crust. Add flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar. Mix well. Using your fingers mix in the softened butter until dough is crumbly. Add milk and vanilla extract and incorporate well. Do not over mix. Add the crumbly dough to the greased baking tray. Press firmly to even it out across the dish. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the corner edges become lightly toasted. Remove from oven and cool completely. You can refrigerate until ready for the next step. This can be done a day ahead as well.

In second bowl add all the filling ingredients and mix. I like to do this while crust is baking so the flavors can meld for a little. Let the ingredients sit in the bowl for at least 15 minutes. 

In the third bowl make the crumble topping. Add flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt to the bowl. Mix well and then once again using your (clean) fingers mix in the softened butter to make a nice crumbly topping. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once crust is perfectly cooled poor the entire contents of the filling bowl on top. Level it out across the baking dish. Then add the crumb topping and press gently to compact the layers. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 28-32 minutes or until the crumble topping takes on a slightly golden color. Remove from the oven and cool completely. At this point you can refrigerate the dessert until ready to cut and serve. I found it easier to cut once chilled. 

Bottom crust layer 

Fruit filling 

Crumble topping 

Final product 

This dessert really worked well at the BBQ. Even though it was pitch black by dessert time and we all forgot candles/flashlights- it tasted damn good in the dark!! Try it out at your next outdoor party. Xo


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