Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cherry Raspberry Crumble Bars

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring..... For starters, it poured today in Jerusalem, thank G-d and I was able to wear my brand new rain boots! As for the snoring part... this morning I joined a group of girls on a trip to the airport to greet a plane full of new immigrants from North America. It was exciting and nostalgic- I was greeted in the same terminal by family and friends just two years ago when I immigrated here. Anyway, I had to be up at 4:45 to get to buses at 5:30. I only crashed for a nap at about one thirty-ish. So the song is pretty appropriate... but in a good way. Anyway.... last night, I made these Cherry Raspberry Crumble Bars from the Art and Soul of Baking. Simple jam crumble bars have been on my crave list and I'm glad I finally have a good and easily adapted recipe now at my disposal. The recipe calls for dried sour cherries, a new found favorite of mine. I love them for just snacking (I think they're the new Craisin!) and have been seeing them called for in recipes lately, especially in Mushet's book. Normally, such a product would be rare here, but I found them being sold in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem and while they cost A-LOT, they are worth buying, at least a little at a time. While I used the raspberry and cherry combination, anything goes here so feel free to substitute any flavor jam and any fruit, or omit the fruit. Go wild. These bars were also pretty easy to make and disappeared really quickly. They were homey, simple and yummy and they smelled so intensely fruity and yummy. I was nervous that girls would be freaked out by dried sour cherries, sometimes these things are too sophisticated for them, but they seemed to enjoy the combination as much as I did.

Cherry Raspberry Crumble Bars
from The Art and Soul of Baking

1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter or margarine
1 jar good quality raspberry jam
1 cup dried sour cherries

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk thoroughly.
Add the margarine or butter and using a mixer of your hands, mix/knead the mixture thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are moistened and crumbles are formed.
Pour half of the crumbles into the pan,
and press evenly into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool to warm.
Meanwhile, place the jam and cherries in a bowl,
and mix to combine.
Here is the baked crust.

Spread the filling over the cool-ish crust.
Top evenly with the remaining oat crumble mixture.
Bake for an additional 35 minutes, or until the filling bubbles through. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

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