crumble bars {date, apricot or raspberry}

I’m rather enjoying the process of “tidying up life in New Zealand” (as J puts it) and preparing for life in Canada. Although we feel pretty unsettled, and a little uncomfortable eating every meal from the same mismatched bowl (crockery is now packed!), it is actually quite a nice wind down process. There is nothing we can do to speed things up. PR will arrive in its own time. Job offers will come flowing when they’re ready (ah-hem). And offers for accommodation will appear in our email when they jolly well feel like appearing.

As much as I’d like to influence these things, I can’t.

But, as always, I can influence what goes in, and comes out of my oven. I have less than a week left with this oven (and kitchen and house), and as temperamental as it is – the ‘warming up’ light went out at 100˚C! That’s 80˚ out! Never trust your oven light.. I am a strong advocate for oven thermometers! – it has produced some delights.

Dates, oats, and crumble are always a good combination. Its like breakfast and dessert all in one. To me, that justifies enjoying Crumble Bars at any hour of the day. ANY.

This started out as a venture to create Date Crumble Bars. But on cleaning out my baking drawer I found only half a bag of dates and half a bag of apricots. Lurking in the bottom on the freezer I knew there was half a bag of frozen raspberries. And in the fridge, a sad looking jar of raspberry jam. Alas they all come to play, producing Date Crumble Bars, Apricot Crumble Bars and Raspberry Crumble Bars.


Crumble Bars {Date, Apricot or Raspberry}

The recipes that I combined to get what I wanted both added sugar to the date filling. I don’t really get that, considering dates are pretty much pure sugar. But hey if you want a total sugar buzz go for it! As you can see I omitted it, and was very glad – they are pretty sweet. I also omitted the lemon (the tree is naked at the moment) which I think would’ve added a lovely tang.

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a square baking tin with foil (long enough to hang over two sides) and grease well. I mean it. Dates are pretty sticky..

For the base:

1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g butter, diced

Process oats, flours, sugar, salt and cinnamon in food processor until oats are ground. Pulse butter until mixture becomes like damp sand. Take out one cup of this and set aside. Press the remaining mixture into prepared baking pan and push down with your hands (or the base of the measuring cup). Bake in oven for about 15 minutes until lightly golden.

While the crust is browning, make the filling.

For the date filling:

Place 100g dates in saucepan with 1/4 cup water and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and let sit, then puree in food processor (or mash with a fork).

The same can be done with apricots, but these require a little more water and a fair bit longer on the stove (maybe 8 minutes at a simmer).

For the raspberry filling:

Defrost and drain 3/4 cup frozen raspberries. Mix with 3 tablespoons jam. Taste and add more jam if you find it too sour.

Remove base from oven and spread with chosen filling.

For the crumble topping:

1 cup reserved base mixture
1/2 whole oats
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 slivered almonds

Add the oats and sugar to reserved flour mixture. Mix well, then rub in butter with fingers until balls form the size of peas (or lightly pulse in food processor). Toss through the almonds. Scatter crumble over the filling and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes until crumble is golden and crisp, filling is oozing around the edges, and your mouth is drooling. Enjoy with a cuppa.

8 thoughts

  1. Hey we are so excited that you are coming to stay soon…then we can sample these wee morsels prior to the blog rather than having to wait till they come out on your blog. I wonder what you magic you will be able to weave with wild rabbit or old chook or Rotorua trout????

    • Well I’ll be bringing my pantry of baking supplies that need using up before we leave – so no doubt there’ll be plenty to sample! Hey hey, now don’t you notice my trend for sweet things?? I’ll leave the rabbit stew to the pro.

  2. Just made this – how delicious! Still really enjoying reading and making things from your blog :) Hope you and Jesse are well!

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