We made this as a take-to-office treat, baked the day before and individually wrapped. They're also nice for on-the-go breakfast or snacks when you’ve got a houseful of guests. Or add a batch of Blackberry Bars to a sweets table or brunch buffet.
Kitchen Tip: Depending on the fruit you choose, the bars may or may not “bubble up” while baking as the recipe says. Some fruits (such as strawberries) are extra-juicy and may need a bit more flour or cornstarch to thicken up the sauce. Other fruits – like the blackberries I used – are not very juicy; I probably should have muddled the berries to loosen then up a bit. Just keep an eye on the bars, adjust the baking time as needed, and all will be well. Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe source: Smitten Kitchen
For the Crust and Topping
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the Fruit Filling:
- 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pound blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
- Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined.
- Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.
- Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside.
- Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the fruit filling.
- Make the blackberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together.
- Add the blackberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the blackberries are evenly coated. “Muddle” the berries a little bit until they are soft and juicy but not mushy.
- Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the blackberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.