Spring is here, Spring is HERE! Yay : D Spring just happens to be one of my favorite times of the year. Second to Fall that is. Things are starting to warm up and the scenery is getting greener and greener everyday. Not to mention we haven’t quite hit the heavy heat and humidity of summer. It’s just lovely. Plus I get nostalgic of the days when I was in school and couldn’t wait for Summer vacation to come. Back then Spring was nothing but a big tease. Nowadays it has even more meaning, especially in the kitchen. It means FRESH ingredients and lighter dishes. Not as though I don’t appreciate the comfort food that the winter months bring, but after eating so heavily for so long, a person needs a break.
Here to kick off the new season are these delicious Raspberry Streusel Bars. I have a tendency to focus all my blogging attention on cookie/brownie/cake recipes without including much fruit or variation outside of chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla. Those flavors just happen to be the ones that I gravitate towards. I am going to expand my palate the next few months and experiment with some new flavors and different types of dishes and desserts. These Raspberry Streusel Bars are maybe the second of their kind that I’ve ever made. And I don’t know why that is. It’s certainly not because I don’t enjoy them, because I really do find them delicious. I have no excuse for myself really.
As far as a fruit streusel bar goes, these are fairly straight forward and easy to make. Most bars of their kind require you to make a homemade filling. This recipe simply has you mash fresh berries with some jam and lemon juice. VERY EASY. The oatmeal crumble crust and topping are thrown together quickly in the food processor, making the most perfect accompaniment for the raspberry filling.
The flavors are bright and spring-like, relying on perfectly ripe raspberries to make the most of the flavor. My raspberries were a tad tart, not being quite in season yet, so try to taste test yours first. Don’t forget to wash and dry them thoroughly, picking over any that might have molded already. Does anybody else have that issue? I feel like my raspberries take no time at all to start growing fur. The other thing to consider when making these is that they are truly at their best the day they are made. After that first day, the crust and streusel will soften, losing most of its texture.
- 2½ cups (12½ oz) all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (4⅔ oz) sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 18 Tb unsalted butter, cut into ½" pieces and softened
- ¼ cup packed (1¾ oz) brown sugar
- ½ cup (1½ oz) old fashioned oats
- ½ cup pecans, chopped fine
- ¾ cup (8½ oz) raspberry jam
- 3½ oz (3/4 cup) fresh raspberries
- 1 Tb lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 9" x 13" pan with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
- Using stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, and salt on low speed, about 10 seconds. Add 16 tablespoons of butter, 1 piece at a time; then continue mixing until mixture resembles damp sand, 1 to 1½ minutes. Alternately use food processor.
- Measure 1¼ cups flour mixture into medium bowl and set aside. Distribute remaining flour mixture evenly in bottom of prepared pan, pressing evenly to make a bottom layer. Bake until edges begin to brown, about 14 to 18 minutes. While crust is baking, add brown sugar, oats, and pecans to reserved flour mixture; toss to combine. Work in remaining 2 Tb butter with fingers, pinching to create hazelnut size clumps. Set streusel aside.
- Combine preserves, raspberries, and lemon juice in small bowl. Mash with fork until only some berry pieces remain.
- Spread raspberry filling over hot crust; sprinkle streusel topping evenly over filling (do not press into filling). Return to oven and baking until topping is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on wire rack, about 1 to 2 hours.
Adapted from “The New Best Recipe” By Cooks Illustrated