It’s May, it’s spring, and although the weather may be more April-like with chilly temperatures and rain those bright red jewels called strawberries are in the grocery store and guess what!? They’re actually sweet!
We may have another month or so to wait for local strawberries to start showing up at farmer’s markets, but it’s finally strawberry season somewhere in the U.S. and I’ve been taking advantage of it. In the past two weeks I have made a slew of things with strawberries to celebrate the season and I’m going to share all of them with you! One at a time though. First is a scrumdiddlyumptious shortbread crust topped with strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, and pistachio crumble!
Strawberry-Pistachio Crumble Bars
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
½ t salt
16 T butter at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Grease a 13×9 inch pan then lay two pieces of aluminum foil perpendicular to each other across the pan, make sure they’re long enough so that they drape over the sides. Grease the aluminum foil. This may seem redundant but once the bars cool if any jam has leaked out of the crust or out the foil you will have a big sticky mess on your hands!
3. In a medium bowl mix the flour, sugar, and salt together with a whisk.
4. Cut the butter up into tablespoon size pieces and either using your hands, a pastry blender, or a mixer, incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms pea size pieces.
5. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the shortbread.
6. Pour the remaining shortbread mixture into the prepared pan and press it down using either a metal spatula or a measuring cup to make an even, compact crust.
7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust starts to turn golden.
2 T butter at room temperature
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios
1. While the crust is baking mix the brown sugar, oats, and pistachios into the reserved shortbread mixture.
2. Incorporate the butter into the above mixture and try to form little balls of crumble rather than having fine crumble. The balls will keep their shape better when baked, whereas the finer crumble will sort of just melt into the jam.
3. Put in the freezer while you assemble the bars.
2 pounds strawberries
1 cup fresh strawberries chopped and the remaining 2 pounds sliced
1 ¼ cup strawberry jam
Zest and juice from ½ a lemon
1. Mix the 1 cup chopped strawberries, jam, lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl.
2. Spread the above mixture over still warm shortbread crust.
3. Layer the sliced strawberries on top of the jam mixture.
4. Sprinkle with cold crumble.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden.
6. Let it cool completely! This should take a few hours, I let mine cool overnight.
7. Lift the uncut bar out of the pan by the aluminum foil. If the whole thing is sticking to the bottom of the pan and starting to break, freeze the bar and you’ll be able to easily pop it out of the pan later.
8. Cut and enjoy!!
The crust came out crisp and buttery like shortbread should be, the jam and strawberries were perfect together with the hint of lemon, and the pistachio crumble added a nice nutty crunch! I think these bars definitely are a sweet springy treat!