I often find myself buying local berries in bulk during summer months. And in many cases, I am left, a few days later, with some “still good, but too mushy to serve”. In an effort to figure out what to do with them, other than make jam, I thought about how I could take the idea of a tart but simplify it to be: 1- healthier & 2- less time-consuming.
And BOOM, berry crumble bars were born. Think of it as a much fresher version of a Nutrigrain bar, or even crumble pie bars.
You don’t need any kitchen equipment other than a medium-sized bowl and fork to mix together the crumble for this recipe, which makes cleanup fairly easy (my fave kind of recipes)!. These bars are delicious, crunchy, fruity, and just tart enough to balance the sweetness from the crumble.
These are best served either cold or at room temperature and would be delicious topped with some vanilla bean ice cream, or even some fresh homemade whipped cream. Serve them with a side of fresh berries and they make beautifully presentable desserts to serve while hosting!
Mixed Berry Crumble Bars
For the crumble crust
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
For the berry filling
- 2 1/2 heaping cups fresh berries of your choice
- 4 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, with the paper coming up on two of the sides, for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, until fully combined.
- Add in the melted butter, vanilla extract and almond extract and stir until combined and a crumble begins to form together.
- Place the crumble mixture into the prepared pan to create a thick enough base. Press the dough down with your fingers to make sure it is even and packed on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the remaining crumble in the fridge until ready to top.
- To make the filling, place a small heavy-bottom pot over medium heat (I use a small cast-iron French oven). Add in berries, maple syrup, almond extract, cornstarch and salt. Mix to combine.
- Use a wooden spoon to lightly break down the berries while they are coming to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat and cook for roughly 5 more minutes, or until the mixture thickens (like a jam – should stick to your wooden spoon).
- Pour the mixture over the crust in the pan and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining refrigerated crumble over the filling to create a topping.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until filling starts to bubble and the top becomes golden.
- Once cooked, allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, chill in the fridge for roughly 30mins to harden, before cutting into square bars.
- Serve cold, or at room temperature.