Date Archives September 2018

Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars

T

he end of summer may have reluctantly and technically arrived (boo, hiss) but my Dad’s allotment is still brimming with delicious harvest for the taking and is something to feel excited about. I love September becauseĀ even in my post-school years, it marks the start of a new ‘term’, new starts and fresh excitement for the year ahead and remaining without the pressure of January New Year Resolutions.

I returned home this weekend to a pantry lined with freshly made raspberry jam from the bounty of berries picked over the summer that we struggled to consume. Raspberry jam is such a childhood memory for me and just its smell makes me think of jam sandwiches. I was keen to make something delicious combining my other two favourite delights – shortbread and crumble. Simple and pleasing.

You can of course use other jams, other berries or a mix of both. I expect this would be amazing with blackberries and blackberry jam. Or some apple jam and some blackberries scattered on top. Raspberry does however have a wonderful tart flavour that works so well with the sweet and sugary crumble topping so think about this when choosing your options. These are best sliced once cool if you can be patient as they’re very crumbly. Wonderful served at room temperature or warmed with custard or vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients (makes about 15 pieces)

  • 225g unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • 175g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g jumbo oats
  • 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • Handful hazelnuts, roasted and crushed
  • Rasberry jam (*You can also use other jams and berries. Mix and match)
  • 1 packet fresh raspberries
  1. Grease and line a brownie tin with baking parchment (about 23cm x 20cm but just a rectangle size is good in approximate measurements). Preheat the oven to 180Ā°C.
  2. Start on the shortbread base. In a food processor, blend 125g butter, 75g plain flour and the caster sugar until the mixture resembles a breadcrumb like mixture and can be formed into a dough.
  3. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a soft dough ball. Roll the dough out into a rectangle the rough shape of the baking tin to make it easier for yourself. Lift the dough rectangle and place it into the baking tray using your fingers to push the dough to fit neatly. Break off any bits of dough and use to press into any gaps/cracks to make it fit properly. (*You can also just tip the mixture straight from the processor, without forming into a dough, and then use your fingers to press the mixture into the baking tray).
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the shortbread is very lightly golden and just baked. It can be a tiny bit underdone as it will go back into the oven later but make sure its not too golden and hard or it’ll be overdone.
  5. Meanwhile, in the same food processor bowl, blend the remaining 100g flour, 100g butter and 100g muscovado sugar until just turning to breadcrumbs. Add the oats and pulse to combine. You can continue to blend here as much as you want but the mixture will start to form a dough rather than a crumble like at the shortbread stage which isn’t what you want. I like to have a fine breadcrumb to scatter but with some larger chunks of crumble pieces so pulse as you like. Set the mixture aside.
  6. Once the shortbread is cooked, spread a tin layer of raspberry jam over the top. Use as much as you want. It helps if the base is still hot and just out the oven as it melts the jam. Scatter over the fresh raspberries.
  7. Next, scatter over the crumble mixture making sure it covers all the fruit and that it is in a thin and even layer on top. This crumble mixture makes a little too much so don’t feel you have to use it all. Leftover can be frozen or popped into the fridge for Sunday night crumble.
  8. Return to the oven and bake again for 20-30 minutes until golden and crunchy.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin until cool enough to chill further in the fridge. Once fully cool, remove and slice into pieces.