I made these berry and spice bars hoping they would be chewy & crisp, the kind of bars we could pack on a picnic or bring along for a walk in the forest. They instead turned out crumbly and gooey, best eaten right at home, which is what we did during a rainy afternoon yesterday. I’m still on the lookout for a packable & crisp fruit bar for our outings (do you have a good recipe to share?), but these tasty, crumbly ones with jammy fruit oozing out the sides made for a sweet afternoon of nibbling. They’re also a great way to use up a stash of frozen fruit, which I did, to make room for berry-picking season.
I’m bringing these bars, wrapped ever so gingerly, over to the Fiesta Friday party hosted by Angie at the Novice Gardener. I’m late to the party this time, but I’m hoping Angie and guest co-hosts Elaine and Stacey won’t mind. Stop on by, the array of goodies is too spectacular to miss!
Rainy Day Mixed Berry & Spice Bars
- 1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (95 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 and 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
- 1/2 cup other berry of choice (I had some fresh blackberries and raspberries to use up, so added those)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired
- Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Butter an 8 x 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and set aside. In one large bowl, combine the oats, 3/4 cup of the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt with a whisk. Add the melted butter and stir with a spatula until well incorporated. Scoop out 3/4 cup of this and set aside; pour the rest into the buttered baking dish and press down firmly, spreading evenly with your hands.
- In the same large bowl, combine berries, cornstarch, lemon juice, spices and a 1/2 teaspoon of the granulated sugar, then pour this into the baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the reserved 3/4 cup of crumble around evenly, pressing lightly, then sprinkle with remaining granulated sugar.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and sides and top of crumble are golden and slightly crisp. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes, then slice into squares and scoop out carefully with a fork. They will be quite crumbly and soft but will firm up some as they cool. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar, if desired. Store leftovers in wrap in the refrigerator.