It’s almost the weekend once again. March felt like an eternity, but ever since then I feel like each week is flying by. Next week is July, which is just unreal. This summer is already going by way too quickly. Though this summer is not a normal one, I am still hoping to do some fun summer activities, like an outdoor picnic. These Strawberry Crumb Bars would be the perfect dessert to enjoy on a safe, social distanced picnic outdoors.
The other day, I found a huge carton of strawberries for a cheap price at Costco. I knew even if we couldn’t eat them all, I could surely use them to create a recipe. And, that is just what I did. These strawberry crumb bars resemble a crumb topped pie in flavor and texture, but in cookie bar form. They are perfectly sweet with a delectable crumb and crust provided from the combination of almond flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and butter. This recipe makes a 9-by-9in. pan, so they are small batch.
- For the Crust and Crumble: All-purpose flour and almond flour are combined alongside brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. The crust is finished with cold butter that is cut into the dry ingredients for a tender crust and crumb. The brown sugar adds a delicious caramelized flavor and the almond flour adds a much needed nuttiness.
- For the Filling: Instead of using a jam, I opted for a fresh strawberry filling. The filling is made with strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and butter. The vanilla extract is completely optional, but does add a nice added flavor. The cornstarch is there to help thicken the whole mixture out. Strawberries are naturally sweet, so only a small amount of sugar is called for here. While the lemon juice assists in the thickening process as well, in addition to adding a much needed acidic element.
This recipe requires the strawberry filling to be made first, so that it can effectively cool by the time the crust/crumble has been made. The filling is made by stirring together the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. This mixture is then transferred to a medium sized saucepan and placed over medium heat. Stirring frequently, the strawberry filling is brought to a boil, before being reduced to a simmer until completely thickened. The saucepan is removed from the heat and the butter is stirred into the mixture until completely incorporated. For efficient cooling, transfer the filling out of the saucepan into a bowl, and set aside.
While the filling cools, the crust/crumble can be made. It is made simply by whisking together all of the dry ingredients. Then, by cutting in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks, until the mixture resembles course cornmeal. It’s okay if some of the butter chunks are still a little larger, they will melt lovely into the crust.
Three-quarters of the crust is added to the prepared pan, pressed until an even layer forms. The cooled filling is spread over this layer. And, the rest of the crust is loosely crumbled on top of the strawberry filling before baking for 30-35 minutes.
These strawberry crumb bars are incredibly comforting in flavor, like a slice of pie. They just taste like summer! I think you will enjoy them as much as I did. These bars would be great enjoyed on a picnic or warmed in the microwave with a scoop of ice cream at home.
Stay safe and stay strong <3
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Strawberry Crumb Bars
- In a small bowl, toss together the strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Transfer to a medium sized sauce pan.
- Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequwntyl. Boil for about 1 min. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until thickened and strawberries softened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the one tablespoon of butter and vanilla extract, if using. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Allow to cool completely before proceeding to crust.
Crust and Crumble
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and line a 9 by 9-in. pan with parchment, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blend or two forks until mixture resembles corse cornmeal. It's okay if there are a few larger chunks of butter, they will melt into the rest of the crust.
- Press ¾ of the crust into the prepare pan. Pat down into an even layer. Pour the cooled strawberry filling over the crust layer, and smooth out evenly. Crumble the remaining crust evenly over the strawberry filling.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until set and the crumble on top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and cutting into slices.