Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars...just another Sunday afternoon

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

So a couple of Sundays ago, I decided to have a go at making Cherry Crumble Pie Bars (from "Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications: Sunday dinners") for our Sunday dinner dessert at my sister's home.  I had agreed to this the Friday before; I agreed to it without having all the ingredients on hand, namely UNSWEETENED PITTED TART RED CHERRIES.  Big mistake!

Now I know what you are thinking..."how hard is it to find unsweetened pitted tart cherries?"  I thought the same question myself after going to the third grocery store and finding everything but those darn cherries. Blackberries, raspberries, mangoes, peaches, pineapple (they have frozen pineapple??? why?), mixed berries, name it, I could find it, but those elusive cherries were no where to be seen.  I felt crushed, defeated...I singlehandedly ruined Sunday dinner (maybe a little dramatic, but I was tired...I was allowed to be dramatic).  At that point I received the phone call that would save me from doing the unthinkable...Sean called to ask "Do you need anything from Wal-Mart?"  So I sent him on a mission to find this elusive frozen fruit.

An hour later I received another phone call, "Will Sweetened Dark Pitted Cherries work?"... *sigh*  Even Wal-Mart had failed to have UNSWEETENED PITTED TART RED CHERRIES.  I said that would be fine, but I wanted 3 bags...he told me I would have to settle for 2...why I asked...because they were the last 2 they had in the store.  *sigh*

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars
from  "Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications: Sunday dinners"
For printable recipe, please click here

2 C  AP Flour
1¼ C  Finely Ground Almonds (I used a coffee grinders on them)
¾ C  Packed Brown Sugar
1 C  Butter, cut up (I used a grater on it instead of cutting it up)
¾ C  Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp  Cornstarch
½ tsp  Lemon Zest
4 C  Frozen Unsweetened Pitted Tart Red Cherries, thawed and drained
½ tsp Almond Extract 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 13x9x2" cake pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan; set aside.

For crust:  In a large bowl stir together flour, almonds, and brown sugar.  Using a pastry blender; cut in the grated butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Remove 1½ C of mixture (this will be used for the topping), set aside for later.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepped cake pan.  Bake for 15 min.  

For the filling:  In a large bowl combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest.  Add cherries and almond extract; stir together gently.  Spoon filling over partially baked cookie crust,  spreading evenly (mixture will be wet).  Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over cherries. 

Bake about 40 min. more or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Using edges of foil, lift uncut bars out of cake pan.  Cut into bars.  Makes 32 bars (which is more like 12 bars the way I cut them).  Refrigerate leftovers.

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars
Cherry Crumble Pie Bars
The result was a nice pie bar that tastes excellent with ice cream, even if I didn't use UNSWEETENED PITTED TART RED CHERRIES!

Enjoy the foods of your labor.  :-)


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