Raspberry Crumble Bars

Cookies, Bars and Biscotti

Yield: about 16 bars
Recipe: 130/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 72

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     This recipe was fun and simple to make. Pulse all the ingredients except the raspberry jam together, press half of it in the pan and layer the raspberry jam and the rest of the crumble mixture on top. It smelled nice and fruity while baking. Although I was very careful to gently press the crumble top layer, it ended up a bit too compact for my liking. I think it would have been better if the top layer was more loose and more crumbly (these are crumble bars, after all). Adding in some oats to the leftover crumble mixture before sprinkling in atop the raspberry jam would also add a nice texture.

   Unfortunately, I was not really a fan of these bars. Although the texture added by the cornmeal is nice, I found the bars too dense, both in texture and flavour, and could only eat a few bites at a time. There is also something unusual about the taste and I found them too sweet, probably due to the raspberry jam. Perhaps this might be different based on the brand of raspberry jam used, but for me to find a dessert too sweet it must really be in excess. If I were to remake these I would probably try to just puree some fresh raspberries and use that as a middle layer instead. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom or ground allspice
  • 1 cup cool unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 cup raspberry jam

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper so the paper hangs over the sides a little.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together briefly the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cardamom or allspice to blend. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor, whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then cut in the cool butter pieces using your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Put 3 cups of this crumble texture into the prepared pan and firmly press down so that the mixture is even around the pan.
  4. Stir the raspberry jam to soften it and spread it evenly over the pressed crumble.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top and press down gently.
  6. Bake the bars for about 30-35 minutes, until they just begin to brown around the edges. Cool the bars to room temperature, then chill them for at least 2 hours before slicing into 16 or 18 bars, depending on how big you want them. 

Valerie

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