Thursday, May 12, 2005

Apple-Cherry Crumble Bars

Apple-Cherry Crumble Bars (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 cups dried apples
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 3/4 cups apple cider
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 375

In a medium saucepan, add apples, cherries and cider - bring to a simmer, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruits are softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Set aside two tablespoons of the remaining liquid, then drain the fruit and cool.

Coarsely chop fruit - place into a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and reserved 2 tablespoons cooking liquid.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, salt, remaining brown sugar and remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add butter - use a pastry blender to cut it into the oat mixture until until crumbs range in size from peas to gum balls. Scoop about 4 cups of the oat mixture into a 9" x 13" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Evenly press the mixture over the bottom, forming a crust. Spread fruit filling on top, leaving about a 1/4" border on all sides. Scatter remaining oat mixture on top.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

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