Delectable Strawberry Bars

Delectable Strawberry Bars

I love June because it means red, juicy, sweet strawberries!  Sweet sticky strawberries, and particularly these bars always remind me of my childhood- picking the ripe seasonal berries with stained hands, juice dripping down my chin, and a giant smile.  This amazing recipe, which works well with the addition of rhubarb too, brings back those memories for me!  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

INGREDIENTS

For the crust: 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup wholewheat or buckwheat flower
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the filling:

  • 1 pound hulled, sliced (or quarter based on size) fresh strawberries
  • 1 jar (12 or 13 ounces) organic strawberry preserves 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

PREPARATION

  1. Start by making the crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving 1 inch overhang on long sides.
  4. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder until well combined.
  5. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  6. Add egg and pulse until well distributed.
  7. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix with your fingers until clumps form; it should look like crumb topping.
  8. Chill dough in fridge while making filling.
  9. For the filling, combine strawberries (if you choose to use rhubarb slices, add here), cornstarch and lemon in small saucepan.
  10. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until preserves are melted and cornstarch is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
  11. Divide dough in half- press the first half into parchment lined pan, patting down with your fingers to ensure even thickness.  Don't forget the corners!
  12. Pour strawberry mixture evenly over dough.
  13. Sprinkle remaining dough evenly over top.
  14. Bake bars until fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.
  15. Let cool on a wire rack.  Lift bars out of pan using parchment over hang.
  16. Slice and enjoy warm!
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