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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Strawberry Mango Crumb Bars

A lot of people don't like baking because you have to be so meticulous.  I actually really enjoy the precise measuring that pairs with baking.  There have only been a few times where my substitutions failed miserably.  And, I think there are only a handful of times where I somehow missed a key ingredient.  But, I'm slowly learning what works and what doesn't.  Still, for the most part, I'm pretty rigid when it comes to following the recipe.

However, I was pretty nervous about these as I mixed them.  I hadn't measured out enough berries and the berries I had were significantly wet.  So, I ended up cutting up some mango to fill out the last cup.  In addition, I used about 1/2 cup of some of my home-made strawberry raspberry jam to thicken the mixture, as I wasn't sure the cornstarch was going to do its job.  I even strained some of the mixture before spreading it over the dough because I was afraid the liquid was going to sop through the bottom crumb layer.  Can you sense the panic?

But, I was worrying for nothing.  These turned out amazing.  I was very, very happy with the results and I was so glad that all of my changes worked.  I made them one day when I was craving pie but as Ron doesn't eat pie, I needed something I could easily sample.  So, I had my share and ran the rest of up to Annie and Chris's before I devoured the entire pan!  I think they enjoyed them.  :)

I honestly think any decent, baking fruit could be substituted in lieu of the berries.  Despite the fact that my changes worked well, I'm listing the recipe below as per Smitten Kitchen's site (with my fruit changes, of course, as the post is titled strawberry mango).  Mine worked for me, but I don't know exact measurements so I wouldn't want to steer anyone in the wrong direction. Enjoy!
Strawberry Mango Crumb Bars
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 4 cups fresh berries/fruit
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and baking powder.
  3. Mix in salt and lemon zest.  
  4. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and the egg.  The dough will be crumbly. 
  5. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  6. In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Gently mix in the fruit.  Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust.
  7. Crumble the remaining dough over the berry layer.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top if slightly brown.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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