In with the New: Peach Pie Crumble Bars
There was a brief moment of panic when I turned on the oven in my new apartment for the first time. A strange smell drifted out along with a puff of smoke and I thought, Oh crap, I’m going to burn this place down on the first try! But after frantically opening all the windows and turning on the fan, I realized it was nothing. A false alarm. The oven was just fine, probably just needed to expel that last bit of cleaner and take a deep breath in preparation for its new, baking-obsessed renter. Yes, dear oven, be prepared for lots of hard work!
I think it’s up for the task. These Peach Pie Crumble Bars baked up perfectly, browned on the edges, the crust crisp underneath, the filling tender and sweet. And look! No berries! It was high time I gave summer’s other fruitful bounty its time in the spotlight. These poor peaches had been hiding in my fridge for weeks, I’m ashamed to say, casualties of an intended-but-uncompleted pitcher of sangria for our moving-out party, who then had to wait through all the moving chaos until my baking dishes and mixing bowls were unpacked and I could finally give them some attention.
If peaches could talk, they would tell me it was worth the wait. They would say how they were thrilled to be a part of a treat so delicious, so irresistible as a piece of pie you can pick up and eat with your hands! And these really are exactly that. None of that shortbread-style crust you get with your typical lemon bars or pecan pie bars, but genuine, flaky pie dough. Oh yeah.
Peach Pie Crumble Bars
© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, barely melted
- 3-4 cups peaches, peeled and cubed (about 4 large peaches)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- Pinch of salt
- To make the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cubed cold butter and pulse several times until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and pulse several times. Check the consistency of the dough, if the crumbs hold together when pressed, the dough is done, if it’s still too dry, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency. Dump out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the wrap to form it into a rectangle. You’ll be lining a 9×13-inch baking dish, not your typical pie pan! Set in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the crumble. Combine the flour, cornmeal, oats, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and use your fingers to work the mixture into crumbs. Set in the fridge to chill.
- To make the filling, combine the peaches, sugar, maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, spices and salt. Toss gently with a large spoon to combine. Set aside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge 5 minutes before rolling it out. Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a pizza stone or sheet tray on the middle rack to get hot.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick, trying to keep it in a rectangle. Place it gently in your 9×13-inch baking dish and press gently into the corners, patching any tears. If you dough doesn’t reach to all the edges, simple trim extra edges and place in the gaps. You want it to cover the entire bottom and come about 1/2-inch up the sides. If the dough has gotten very soft, set in the fridge again for another 5 minutes before continuing.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the entire surface. Place the pan on the hot stone or sheet tray and bake until golden and the peaches are tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes, cut into squares and enjoy!