Well, the good news is the sourdough post is coming soon! It took three tries for my first loaf to come out like I wanted. Want more good news? We have light in the kitchen! As always, family comes through.
Also, I know I haven’t been posting much but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking. I just haven’t been baking for the blog. I think I will write a post that has all the things I have been doing for family and such, coming after the sourdough post! So at least you know I will be posting more frequently than I have been. These bars are up first because they have been in line for awhile. So long, that I had to buy new pears this week because two of the ones I bought the first time I wanted to make these had gone bad. I just made these yesterday and I think another reason I wanted to post these first is because my husband liked them so much. I know, I know, I am such a dweeb! Sometimes all it takes is an approving look or comment from him and I get all giddy. What can I say?
Anyhoo, these were originally Apple Crumb Bars from Annie’s Eats. I wanted to try the pears because they have a more subtle flavor and I didn’t really want any tartness. Also, I think it is a fruit that you can bake with that often gets overlooked. I was a little worried about the texture, that the pears might fall apart but no, even the super ripe ones, held up great! My husband couldn’t even tell that they were pears. I am not sure if that means my switch up was a failure but at least he liked it and he liked it a lot. He thought they were a little messy for bars and preferred to use a fork but I had no problem (after about cooling for around 30 minutes) cutting into that sucker and eating it as a bar and finishing it so quickly I am kind of ashamed of myself. I did chill it after that to make it easier to cut into bars but I do think warm is best. So, use a fork, use your hands, whatever you prefer.
Annie said that she thought the bottom crust was a bit thick and that she would reduce the amount she used next time but I think if it wasn’t that thick it might fall apart and couldn’t at all be eaten as a bar. However, if you plan on eating it with a fork, by all means reduce the amount of crust you use if you would like. I was a bit taken aback by the texture of the topping, it is a bit more dough like than you might think. It reminded me of the topping for the Crumb Cake I made a few weeks back. Instead of crumbling it on top you sort of break off bits and sprinkle on top. Overall, very quick and easy and yummy.
So I am supposed to be the NerdyBaker and I haven’t yet posted a Star Wars GeekyLink? Well, that is about to change! This came to my attention via Twitter and I want these so bad. STAR WARS decals for your car! Way cooler than Disneyland ones and stick people right? My husband just gave me a funny look when I said I wanted these so it might take a bit of convincing but I will get these at some point.
Pear Crumb Bars
adapted from Annie’s Eats
For the base:
1 1/3 all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Filling:
4 pears, peeled, cored and coarsely diced
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fruit jam (I used a combo of strawberry and orange marmalade)
For the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
To prepare the filling, in a large skillet combine the pears, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until the pears are tender but still firm. In a small cup, whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice. Add to the pear mixture and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8″ baking dish with foil, leaving overhand on both sides for easy removal later. Grease the foil.
To make the base, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Mix well. Cut the butter into the flour using two forks or your hands until it is crumbly and all the ingredients are combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven. Spread the fruit jam evenly on the base while it is still hot. Top with the cooked apple mixture.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the topping. Mix well until combined and crumbly. If you think it should be more crumbly feel free to add more flour and sugar, I did but only a few tablespoons more of each (I used brown sugar for the extra) and it was still doughy looking so I wouldn’t worry. Sprinkle over the apple layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Using the foil, lift out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve.