My home is still overflowing with apricots from our CSA, so I knew they would make their way into some sort of dish for our “neighborhood” 4th of July BBQ.
Last year we moved into a small group of tall condos that share a very nice common backyard. Since it is a tourist town, we only have a few permanent neighbors, while the rest are vacation homes. But almost everyone is in town for the 4th of July to enjoy the mountain air and the beaches … so it seems they have started an annual barbecue tradition as a way for everyone to meet up … even past owners of the condos! Yep, even those who have moved onto new places showed up to visit old friends and neighbors. We were honored to have been invited.
Perhaps we will receive a repeat invite next year, since these apricot-raspberry crumble bars seemed to go over quite well …
Fruity Crumble Bars
Feel free to use the fruit and/or berries of your choice (peaches, blueberries, cherries, apples, blackberries, etc.). You can vary the sugar in the fruit filling based on the fruit you use and how ripe it is. I only used 3/4 cup for the apricots and raspberries, but the filling came out a bit too tart – I would use a full 1 cup for those next time.
This recipe is Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free.
- 3 Cups All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
- 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice or Milk Alternative
- 4 Cups Berries and/or Finely Diced Fruit (I used 3 cups diced apricots, very well packed and one 6-ounce pint of raspberries (about 1-1/3 cups))
- 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice or other Citrus Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest (optional)
- 3/4 to 1 Cup White Sugar (see notes above)
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
Preheat your oven to 375ºF and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, or in your food processor, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.
In a small dish, whip together the egg and vanilla.
Add the margarine and egg mixture to the flour mixture, and cut it in with a fork or pastry blender (this can also be done in a food processor). Thick crumbs should form.
Remove 2 full cups of the crumb mixture (about half) to another bowl and set aside.
Add the juice or milk alternative to the remaining crumbs and combine. It should make a thick dough. Press the dough evenly into your prepared baking dish.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the fruit, juice, zest (if using), sugar, and cornstarch. Spread the fruit mixture over top of the dough in your baking dish, and sprinkle it all with the reserved crumbles.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is slightly browned on top.
Optional: If you want to ensure the flavor of your fruit filling, go ahead and cook the fruit / berries over medium-low heat, along with the juice and zest, sweetening to taste. Thicken with the cornstarch.
Yields dozens of cakey, crumble-topped bars
I had (have) a tone of apricots, but I threw in the raspberries just so these bars would qualify for this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) Event!