I like simple bar recipes. They give me something sweet to have on hand for desserts and snacks, don't take much time to whip up, and often call for ingredients I just happen to have on hand. What's more, most of my favorites involve fruit, so they actually pack a bit of nutrition into every bite. This can be particularly handy if you, like me, have a sweet tooth and find mid-afternoon wanting a cup of coffee and something a little sweet to go along with it. The recipe I'm sharing today isn't fancy and it's unlikely you'll be jumping for joy when it comes out of the oven looking like this:
That is, unless you take a whiff. The aroma these bars share with you as they bake is just a tease about what's in store. Packed with juicy peaches and blueberries and surrounded by a gingery crumb mixture, these bars are a wonderful way to enjoy two of my favorite fruits. Also, because the crumb mixture is assembled by literally dumping the ingredients into a resealable bag and squishing them until coarse crumbs form, they take the term simple to the next level. In fact, having little kitchen helpers make the crumb mixture would be a great way to get them involved and excited about cooking and baking. But what will get them even more excited about it all will be when this is what is waiting for them after dinner:
The fruit filling thickens and bubbles as it bakes and you get a fantastic bar that's bursting with juicy, sweet fruit. I've also been known to make the filling with chopped apples and cranberries, sliced plums and blackberries, and even pears and raspberries. But peaches and blueberries are my favorites, so I'm featuring them here. Make sure you just add the blueberries once the rest of the filling is in the pan. Otherwise, you might end up with a lot of color bleeding and I think the final result is much prettier this way. Enjoy getting fruity!
- 2½ c. flour
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 6 T. cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. powdered ginger
- 2 c. peaches, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine the first 6 ingredients (flour through powdered ginger) in a large resealable bag. Remove as much air as you can from the bag and seal it tightly. Using your fingers, squish the contents of the bag together to form coarse crumbs. Remove about half of the mixture and place it in the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Press it firmly into the bottoms of the pan, reserving the other half of the mixture for the top of the bars.
Toss the peaches with the lemon juice, cornstarch, and brown sugar together in a bowl until the fruit is well-coated. Pour the peach mixture over the crust and dot with the blueberries. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the top of the fruit.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the crumb topping is slightly browned and the fruit is thickened, bubbly, and soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing and serving. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
- Yields: 9 servings
- Preparation Time: About an hour