Trusty any-fruit squares


I have found the one.

Blueberry chai square

Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Squares is already infinitely versatile, in that there is no limit on what fruits you can put in them.  I have altered them to make them vegan and cane-sugar free, and to fit in a larger pan because they have been a hit with friends.

Fresh out of the oven

Why do I love this recipe?  Because it only uses one mixing bowl, with simple ingredients that bakers will usually have on hand, takes 45 minutes from start to finish, and tastes amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (heaping!)
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 125 g vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup apple butter (caramelized applesauce) or a thick fruity jam
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of fruit, chopped if need be
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

How to make it:

First, stir dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl from oats to nutmeg.  It might seem like a lot of salt but that’s what gives it a buttery taste.  Then, stir in the oil and mix until uniform.  It should be moist and clumpy, like pie crust before you knead it out.

Put roughly 2/3rds of the mixture (reserve about a cup) into a prepared 9×9 square tin, and press down so that the crust is even all around like you would for a graham cracker crust.  Then, spread the jam evenly on top, be gentle so as not to disturb the crust – some of the oats will want to come with you on your spoon or knife.

Stir together the cornstarch with the fruit, and add lemon juice.  You might try to change it up and experiment with different juices, or skip it all together if it is a wet fruit.  Place the fruit in an even layer on top of the jam, and sprinkle on the rest of the crust so that it will be like a crumble top.

Bake in the oven at 360 F for about half an hour, when the top is golden and the fruit is bubbling.  Let it rest for about an hour before serving!

I have used this recipe for strawberry-rhubarb, apple, and blueberry.  I am sure I will try every fruit this summer because it is so easy to make!

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