It must be spring somewhere, because I’m starting to see lots more fresh berries at the grocery store. That makes me happy. I love fresh berries and eat them all spring and summer, not only because I love their taste but also because they’re one of the best fruits you can eat. Berries in general have the highest antioxidant content of any other fruit (or vegetable I think). But mostly, they taste soooo good, and they just look like summer.
I’ve been making this recipe forever, and it’s a family and friends favorite. It’s one of my go-to desserts when I offer to bring a dessert, becasue everyone always loves it, and thinks I spent hours on it. Little do they know… I adapted it very slightly from Cook’s Illustrated, just to make it the tiniest bit healthier. It’s got lots of butter in the shortbread crust, which of course is the reason it tastes so good. BUT, it also has oats, nuts, and of course, raspberries, so that makes it A-OK in my book. Moderation, right?
Only 20 more days until spring! Is it warm where you live yet?
Raspberry Streusel Bars
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons butter divided, reserving 2 tablespoons cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped fine
- 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Adjust oven rack to middle position, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil, pressing it into corners, and letting foil hang over edges.
- Place oats in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, and process until oats are finely ground. Remove oats and set aside
- Add flours, granulated sugar and salt to the food processor, and pulse about 5 times to blend.
- Scatter 14 tablespoons butter over the flour mixture and pulse about 20 times until mixture resembles damp sand.
- Measure 1 1/4 cups of the butter-flour mixture and set aside in a medium bowl.
- Pour the remaining flour-butter mixture into the foil lined pan, and using fingers or a flat bottomed measuring cup, press it in firmly into an even layer.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.
- While crust is baking, combine brown sugar, pecans, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the reserved flour mixture in the medium bowl. Rub streusel mixture with your fingers until it is well incorporated, and pinch to create some clumps, and set aside.
- Combine preserves, lemon juice and fresh raspberries in a small bowl, and mash gently with a fork to break up some of the berries, but leaving some whole.
- Spread raspberry filling over the hot crust, and sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over the top.
- Return pan to the oven and bake for another 22 to 25 minutes, until filling is bubbling and topping is a deep brown color.
- Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Remove from baking pan by lifting overhanging foil. Using a chef's knife, cut into squares.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.
What are the foods you love to see come spring?