8.26.2011

Peach Crumb Bars

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The end is near.
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The signals are mixed.  Around these parts, you could be fooled by the signs, but I feel very certain I am right... the end is near.peachcrumb3
The end of amazing strawberries, peaches, blueberries, blackberries and such is coming.  Pretty much the only clear sign at this point is the calendar.  Because if I was going off the weather, you would think we are smack dab in the middle of it.peachcrumb4
But we are not so run... don't walk.... to the grocery or farmer's market and get in on the freshness and flavor of fruit that can only be found in the summer.

Did I mention these are extremely easy?  Yep, run.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.
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Oh, what do you know, we already have another desperate need for that fresh whipped cream.  This is truly the icing on the cake... the cherry on top... whatever you want to call something that finishes out a dish in a perfectly wonderful way.
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Peach Crumb Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen & Allrecipes.com
Recipe Notes
Even in peak season, peaches can be extremely hit or miss.  Depending on what kind of peaches you end up with, you might have to adjust a little bit.  Mine were great, but not overly juicy.  If you have really juicy peaches, you might want to add a tad bit more cornstarch.  When I first made these bars, we used really sweetened whip cream because the crust was not overly sweet.  Somehow, as the days went on, they got a little sweeter so we still put a dollop of cream on top, but I used less sugar.
Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 heaping cups of chopped peaches
1/2 cup white sugar
6 teaspoons cornstarch
Freshly whipped cream for topping (click here)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder.  Mix in salt and lemon zest.  Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg.  Dough will be very crumbly and dry. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Gently mix in the peaches. Spread the peach mixture evenly over the crust.  Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.  You might have a little crust left over.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly golden brown.   Cool completely before cutting into squares. Bars are easier to cut after being refrigerated.  Top each bar with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. 

Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.

Makes 24 bars or 36 very small rectangles.

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