Saturday, June 30, 2012

Apricot Crumb Bars

If you are fan of not-too-sweet-but-delicious fruit desserts, you should make these crumb bars as soon as possible, while apricots are still in season. As you can see in the ingredient list, you'll need quite a few apricots - it was actually my goal to use a bunch, since we sometimes buy more fruit from Costco than we have time to eat - but the large quantity is absolutely worth it. The recipe is really easy and non-fussy, at least the way I made it (Deb had a few additional steps in order to incorporate browned butter, but I simply skipped all that). And while both Mihai and I like the sweetness level as is (the apricots get to shine), you could probably sprinkle a couple tablespoons of sugar on top of the fruit layer before scattering the crumb topping if you prefer your dessert on the sweeter side.

Apricot Crumb Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup white sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
10 apricots, pitted and thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg using a whisk.

3. Using a box grater, grate in the cold butter, mixing with the dry mixture along the way so the small butter pieces are interspersed throughout the bowl (rather than clumped together).

4. Crack the egg into a small bowl, beat lightly with a fork, and then stir into the flour and butter mixture. After incorporating the egg using a fork, finish mixing the dough with your hands - it should be crumbly.

5. Spread approximately ¾ of the mixture in the pan. Pat down firmly.

6. Arrange the slices of apricots on top of the crumbs, and scatter the remaining crumbs on top of the apricots.

7. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool completely in pan before cutting into slices (squares or rectangles are easiest).


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