Can’t decide between making a pie or a crumble? Well, have I got the solution for you: Crumble Bars.
Crumble bars are the ultimate summer dessert. They are flakey, fruity, and crumbly (but in such a good way). The bars have three distinct layers, a shortbread, fruit, a crumb topping. They are super versatile, easy to make, and most importantly they are a true crowd-pleaser.
When making the crumble bars, I tend to choose fruit that is in season. Peaches and cherries are in peak form right now, so it didn’t take long to think that they would be just the right choice for the filling.
Okay, so let’s get back to those layers. The bottom layer and the base of the bars is brown butter shortbread. Could you make these with regular butter? For sure. Would they be as good? Definitely not.
So, the best thing about these bars is you have the option to pick the filling. Like I mentioned before, I am all about seasonal fruits, so I normally tend to trend in that direction. Cherries, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and raspberries are perfect for the summer months. Heading into the fall, maybe think about apples or figs.
Finally, the bars are topped with some streusel crumbs. These are the same crumbs that I put on my regular crumbles and use when making muffins. They do not have a lot of ingredients and are the perfect addition to any dessert.
These bars are great, especially for the summer. They remind me of a piece of the pie without the mess.
Check out the recipe below and let me know what filling you end up choosing!
Summer Crumble Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 peaches sliced and pitted
- 1 cup chopped cherries, pitted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Set the oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter until brown. In order to keep the butter from burning, keep the temperature around medium/low. Once the butter is melted, it will start to foam. At this stage, make sure you are keeping an eye on the butter and giving it a consistent stir. After the foam, the butter will turn a golden color and then turn brown. Once the butter has a nutty smell, it is ready and can be taken off the heat. Be careful during the last step as it can go from brown to burnt real fast. Once cool, transfer the butter to a bowl and place in the freezer so it can solidify.
- While the butter is in the freezer, make the shortbread. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
- Once the butter is ready, add the butter and the egg into the flour mixture and combine using a pastry blender or your fingers. You want the pieces to be crumbly, but mixed. The flour mixture should have a sandy texture when done.
- Next, cut the fruit and place in a medium bowl with the lemon juice. Set aside to let the fruit marinade.
- Next, make the crumb topping. In a medium-sized bowl combine the remaining flour, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix with a fork until crumbs start to form.
- Take the flour mixture and firmly press it into the prepared pan. Try to get an even layer across so the bars will sit flat.
- Once the shortbread is ready, place the fruit on top, spreading it out evenly. Follow behind with the crumb topping.
- Place the dish in the oven and let bake for 45-55 minutes. The bars will be done when the fruit is leaking into the top layer and the crumbs have a golden brown tint.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting.