When cherries are in season and relatively cheap I love to bake fresh cherry desserts. These crumble bars, with the cherries, strawberries and orange zest, are bursting with summer flavor. They're super moist and flavorful and hard to stop at just one.
I had a pack of organic strawberries nestled by the cherries, so I decided to add in a cup strawberries for good measure. The two flavors paired really well together! And the sweetness of both fruits is really highlighted by the addition of the freshly grated orange zest and juice. My family and I enjoyed these bars all day long. I just finished off the last of the batch with coffee this morning. Sigh. I guess I better go make some more :)
I just had to add this pretty photo of the fruit filling on top of the brown sugar crust. The red color is so vibrant!
Fresh Cherry Crumb Bars
Yield: 30 1 1/2 inch Bars
Crust and Topping
1/2 cup brown, packed
1/2 cup white
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one orange
4 cups cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Zest and juice of one orange
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a large bowl (or food processor), stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and orange zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter (or pulse mixture if using food processor) to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, juice and zest of one orange . Gently mix in the cherries. Sprinkle the cherry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
* I added in a cup of diced strawberries with the cherries and really liked the flavor of the two fruits together!