cherry crumble bars

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we are hitting that point of summer where i start to get into real trouble at the farmers market.  everything looks so good!  i want it all! 

it’s a double whammy when the sommelier goes out of town on the weekend.  there is no one to check the madness.  no one to question whether we really need TWO QUARTS of sour cherries.

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i mean, isn’t the answer to that always YES at the end of cherry season? 

but it didn’t stop at the cherries.  while you check out my haul, try to guess the number of humans i’ll be feeding this week.

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the answer?  me.  just me. 

dear sommelier: please come home.  yes, i miss you.  but also i bought a bunch of kale larger than a small child.

lordy. 

didja see rio lurking amidst the produce?  let’s see a close up.

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can haz fahmarz mahket! (hat tip jaime)

this is the point where she runs back and hides under the bed.

back to the cherries.  i bought a cherry pitter! 

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file that under other things i purchase when the sommelier is gone: excessive amounts of produce, single-use kitchen implements, shoes . . . .

let me tell you though, that cherry pitter is unbelievable.  so much fun.  i had purple fingers for so many years for no good reason.

i have many plans for these cherries.  luckily i bought TWO QUARTS.  the first round went into these:

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yeah, cherry crumble bars.  top notch.

sour cherries + lemon + butter + brown sugar + oaty crumbly goodness = winning.

plus, this recipe – itself a bastardization of several other recipes – is a great basis for all kinds of fruity, crumbly goodness.  i really liked the tartness of the sour cherries, but any other type of summer fruit would be good.  reduce the brown sugar and oats for a blueberry crumb bar like smitten kitchen’s original.  or swap the lemon for some ginger for a peachy crumble bar.  or add almonds and apricots!

 

Cherry Crumble Bars

adapted primarily from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup white sugar (3 1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (3 3/4 oz)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (12 3/4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces) cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 1 cup oats
  • 4 cups fresh sour cherrys – pitted and halved or not as you like it
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375.

Stir the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and zest together.  Add butter and work into flour with a fork, pastry cutter or your fingers until mostly incorporated, then add egg and finish incorporating.  It should look kind of like coarse meal, but a little shaggier. 

Press half of mixture into bottom of a 13 by 9 in pan. Add oats to the remaining half for topping.

Mix cherries with lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar and corn starch.  Pour over bottom crust. 

Sprinkle reserved oats mixture on top.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the cherries are bubbling.  It shouldn’t be too wiggly in the middle – it’ll firm up a bit.  But mine stayed a bit gooey.  Which I love.  But not everyone does, so just watch it, ok?

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