June 27, 2014

Cherry Crumble Bars


Oh, how I love sweet cherries!  They are in season for far too short a time, so I jump on them as soon as I see a good sale.  As a little girl, I remember my Grandmommy putting them in the freezer, pits and all.  Later on in the evening, we would take them out and enjoy them as a frozen treat.  I've carried on that sweet "tradition" with my little sous chef, but I wanted to use them in something special now that she's out of school.  I decided to make crumble bars, and they turned out fantastic!  They are a perfect summer treat for breakfast or dessert!  

A note on pitting cherries:  Once cherries go on sale, I immediately put them in my freezer, without pitting them.  Once I'm ready to use them, I run them under warm water in a colander for a minute or two in order to partially thaw them out.  I then pit them using a pastry tip.  When the cherries are partially frozen, they are easier to pit and the juices don't run everywhere.





Ingredients:

Yields 24 bars
Adapted from Allrecipes

  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c white sugar 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 c cold butter
  • 2 large egg whites 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 4 c cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 c sugar (depending on how sweet your cherries are)
  • 4 tsp cornstarch 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter.  

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 c sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Cut in the butter, add the egg whites and vanilla.  Use a pastry cutter and work the mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas.  

In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, 1/2 c sugar, and cornstarch.  

Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Pour all of the cherry mixture, along with the juices, evenly on top.  Top with the remaining crumb mixture. 

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the top begins to slightly brown.  Allow it to cool completely before slicing. 

Enjoy!


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