Triple berries oatmeal crumble bars
I love love love berries. Berries oh berries, I can wax poetry over how much I love thee
Blueberries were cheap. Blackberries were moderately cheap. Strawberries were relatively cheap. Raspberries were not cheap. At all. *pouts* And my favourite of them all happens to be, *sigh* the raspberries.
Nevertheless, the mass of berries in the grocery stores swept me into a whirlwind romance. With my head still spinning from all that berries love, I was lured into buying a punnet of fresh raspberries. What? I'm not to blame! I...just couldn't resist.
I had great plans for them. I wanted a dessert that screamed out their berri-liciousness. What better than to bake a crumble bar? The perfect use of summer fruits. Something quick, fast, fruity, crunchy and delicious.
Well, it certainly was fruity, crunchy and delicious. But regarding the "quick" and "fast" parts, it was sadly not to be.
It was a foolproof straightforward recipe, but I have only myself to blame for forgetting a key ingredient. The sugar. I had layed out all the ingredients on the kitchen counter while making the crumble. It was only when I pulled the crumble out of the oven, and looked at it that I realise something wasn't right. It looked really...dry and crumbly. Then it hit me. The bag of sugar that was on the counter top was the only bag that still had a band around it. *smacks palm to face*
I did try a little of the sugar-free option, and it was...edible, but not tasty. I had invested so much berries love into that dessert (not to mention money!!!) that I couldn't bear to face defeat. Thus, I scraped off the crust and crumble, and scooped out the precious berry filling into a bowl. I remade the crumble again (not forgetting the sugar this time!), and half a portion of the berry filling as some of it was wasted on the first batch.
The photos in this post, were of course of the second successful batch (except for the first shot in the three pictures collage above).
Photos aside, these bars were yums. I liked how the berry filling was slightly sweet and tart at the same time. The crumble was also quite yummy with the oats providing a nice textural body to the overall bar, and the lemon zest providing a subtle refreshing note. Delicious. There is certainly room for improvement, but for the moment, these bars more than adequately suffice.
Triple berries oatmeal crumble bars (adapted from Christina at Sweet Pea's Kitchen)
3 cups mixed fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp (12g) cornstarch
50g wholemeal flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
175g brown sugar (can reduce further for a less sweet crumble)
1 ½ tsp lemon zest (or a big pinch of cinnamon)
170 butter, softened and cubed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
Place berries and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook at medium heat until fruit is tender, about 5-10 minutes, depending on type of berries being used.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon zest and cornstarch, then stir into fruit mixture. Continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Scrape berry filling into a medium bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 175C and lightly grease and line a 9×13″ baking pan.
In a food processor, combine all the crust ingredients. Pulse until mixture is thoroughly blended and resembles coarse crumbs.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this mixture in a medium bowl.
Pour remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread evenly and pat down. Place filling in dollops over crust and carefully spread to cover entire surface. Squeeze reserved crumb mixture into large clumps with your fingers and sprinkle evenly over the top of the fruit filling.
Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Cut into bars to serve.