Peach-Apricot Crumble Bars

psag
Posted on 04/18/2012 by leslie_levine
Hi everyone! So I know it's not peach season yet... but these bars can be made anytime of the year, because they use frozen peaches. The recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, and they don't even suggest using fresh peaches even if you have them because frozen provides the most consistent moisture levels so the bars will always turn out perfect. And oh they are perfect... trust me. A crumbly, buttery almond shortbread crust and tangy sweet peach and apricot filling. 

They're one of the favorite things I've ever made (I think). But that may just be because I am craving summer's fruits already that I can't stand it! If you're like that at the moment, give these bars a try and they'll hold you over until you can get your hands on some real ripe summer fruit. Enjoy! xx

updated

There are more pictures of these bars over at my blog, The Moveable Feasts.
Or! You can follow the lj cut for the recipe 

Easy Peach Apricot Crumble Bars
From The America’s Test Kitchen’s Menu Cookbook 
Makes around 20-24 square bars
The original recipe called for peach jam, which you could certainly use. I however enjoyed the tangy and tart flavor the apricot jam (and I also enjoyed the convenience factor that I already had apricot jam and that peach jam is a bit more difficult to find). Also, the almonds I used are these toasted, dry sliced ones from Trader Joe’s–they’re unusually and wonderfully crunchy. Any sliced almonds will do, but just thought I’d throw that out there.
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (6 1/2 ounces) sliced almonds
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed (2 1/3 ounces) packed light brown sugar, plus one tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened (I zapped mine in the microwave on defrost setting for about 20-30 seconds)
1 1/2 pounds frozen sliced and peeled peaches, thawed on paper towels to soak up any excess liquid
1/2 cup apricot jam (see note; peach can be used)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and adjust oven rack to be in the middle position. Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with aluminum foil (or parchment paper) to make a “sling.” Butter the foil and any part of the baking dish the foil doesn’t cover. Set aside.
Process flour, 1 1/4 cups of the almonds, the granulated sugar, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar and salt in a food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Add softened butter pieces and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter, about 20 1-second pulses.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the processed mixture and reserve for the crumble topping. Pour the rest of it into the prepared pan and, using a measuring cup or the back of a large shallow spoon, press into an even layer (note– you’ll need the food processor again so don’t clean it just yet). Bake crust in the preheated oven until fragrant and golden brown (especially around the edges), around 15 minutes.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the reserved crumble topping mixture and stir to combine. Then pinch the mixture between your fingers and break into clumps the size of hazelnuts to form a streusel-like topping. Set aside.
Combine the thawed peaches and jam in the food processor and process until the peaches are broken up into chunks. It’s okay if the mixture just looks a little bit mushy–you’re just trying to break it down a little here. Transfer peach mixture to a large nonstick skillet and cook over high heat until thickened and with a more jam-like consistency, about 7-9 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Spread the cooked peach mixture over the hot crust into an even layer. Sprinkle over the reserved streusel topping and then the remaining 1/2 cup slivered almonds over the top of the jam layer. Bake in preheated oven until almonds are golden, about 20 minutes.
Let bars cool completely in pan, about two hours (I know this is very difficult because by this point the bars will smell amazing. But please wait, at least a little bit. I set mine on the concrete floor of the garage to speed up the process.) Carefully remove bars from pan using sling, cut into squares with a sharp knife, and serve. These squares are best eaten within 24 hours (trust me, not hard to do), but you can store them in the fridge for a few days too if you need to.

melawen_c 20th-Apr-2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
This looks fantastic!! I'll definitely have to try it out soon. Thanks. :)
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