These raspberry apple crumb bars are the answer to large gatherings. And use of end of summer berries while longing for fall to start.
They are sweet, buttery, crumbly and, let’s face it, the bright color of the raspberries is captivating. What’s not to love?
I’m always the designated dessert person. And I don’t mind. It’s what I do.
I wonder where they buy cakes and stuff when they need to entertain. They most certainly don’t bake, otherwise, they wouldn’t be so surprised with my desserts, like I just produced a troop of minions coming out of the freezer.
My answer is always the same: ‘It’s what I do. That’s why you like them, I’ve been baking my whole life, I should make great desserts by now’.
Well, these are great apple bars, with vibrant juicy fresh raspberries and a wonderful traditional crumble on top. Very versatile too. I’ve made them with blueberries, with a brown butter crust, with walnuts added to the crumble.. they are always a hit. But then again, who doesn’t like apple bars.
The base is the much beloved, never-gets-old, shortbread.
My formula is dead simple: 2, 1, 1/2 – 2 cups flour, 1 cup butter, half cup sugar. It never ever fails. Foolproof.
I add a pinch of salt because I always do, and it never hurts. But you can skip it.
This is great when berries are in season but can be made with frozen ones. And though apples are a fall fruit, they’re available year-round (especially the green ones), so you can have this amazing dessert any day you want. Add some vanilla ice cream and wait for the applause.
All components of this dessert can be made separately.
The dough can be frozen before baking, well wrapped, for weeks. The crumble keeps for a week in the fridge. The apples keep for two days in the fridge.
- 2 cups 270g all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup 100g sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup 225g butter, room tº
- 1 pound about 8 green apples (or whatever you like)
- 4-5 Tbs 70g butter
- 1/2 cup 100g brown sugar
- 1/4 pound 1/2 kg fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 cup 130g all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup 100g brown sugar
- 1/4 cup 50g white sugar
- 3/4 cup 180g cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup 60g rolled oats
- Line a 9x13 inch (23x33cm) pan with parchment paper, leaving it hanging a bit (for easier unmolding).
- In a large bowl mix soft butter, sugar and salt.
- Add flour in 2-3 parts, mixing well until no dry spots remain.
- Drop tablespoons of dough on the bottom of the lined pan, and, with flour fingers, start spreading the dough until it covers the entire surface. Try to press it up the sides a bit.
- Prick with a fork and pop into the fridge, or the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven at 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Bake the dough, directly from the freezer or fridge, for 15-20 minutes, until it dries a bit and barely starts to color. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Peel, core and cut apples into eights or something like that.
- You will be cooking the apples in two batches.
- Melt half the butter in a skillet over high heat and add the apples when it’s foamy.
- Cook over high heat until beginning to soften a little.
- Add half the sugar over the apples and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, until they begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and onto a bowl to cool down.
- Repeat with the rest of butter, apples and sugar.
- In a food processor (or a large bowl by hand) mix flour and sugar.
- Add butter and process a few times until it’s the size of peas.
- Add oats and pulse just to mix, but try to not over process the oats so they have a crunch when baked.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Add the raspberries to the apples and mix lightly.
- Add the fruit filling to the shortbread base.
- Spread the crumble over the apples.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crumble is golden and the juices are bubbling.
- Let cool over wire rack. Refrigerate, well wrapped, until you need to cut and serve.