Thanksgiving is around the corner, and you know what that means- kitchen time! We’re trying a few new recipes to spice up tradition, this year by adding these Cranberry-Pear Crumble Bars to the dessert table.
Sweet pears and tart cranberries pair perfectly in these treats, which are part bar cookie, and part fruit crisp. Here, both crust and crumble topping are made from the same almond flour-rolled oat mixture mixture, giving it a nutty flavor. Precooking the filling allows the fruit to soften and release some juices ahead of time so the bottom crust stays nice and crisp. The result is a chewy, fruity cookie that just as easily a perfect afternoon snack as it is a paired with some ice cream for dessert. Choose pears that are on the firm side of ripe: Comice and Anjou both work great.
FOR THE FILLING:
- 1 pound/454 grams pears (2 large), ripe but firm
- 2 cups/200 grams fresh cranberries
- ½ cup/101 grams granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
FOR THE CRUST AND CRUMBLE:
- 2 cups/256 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 cup/220 grams light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup/112 grams almond flour
- 1 cup/99 grams rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup/227 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Prepare filling: Peel, core and chop the pears into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of chopped pears. Add pears, cranberries, sugar and orange juice to a heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until pears soften, cranberries burst, and juices are thickened and jammy, 7 to 10 minutes. Add vanilla, orange zest and fresh ginger and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the crust.
- Prepare crust and crumble: In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, almond flour, oats and salt. Stir to combine. Add butter and almond extract, and stir until crumbs are well moistened.
- Reserve about 2 1/2 cups/360 grams of the mixture for the topping. Pour remaining crumbs into prepared dish and press them into an even layer. Bake the crust until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Spoon filling (it’s O.K. if it’s still warm) evenly over the hot crust, top with reserved crumbs, and return pan to oven. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the bars cool slightly before cutting and serving.