In the book this is really called Cherry Almond Bars but I didn't have any cherries so I switched out and used another red fruit, cranberries.
Since cranberries are tart I had a feeling I should be adding more sugar to the fruit filling but I decided to leave it with the original amount called for. I did switch lemon for orange, since I love the combo of cranberries and orange.
The bars came out great, although there was a half cup of crust dough left over that I didn't use ( pop any extra into the freezer to use as a crumble topping for something else later). I think if I had made this in a little bit larger pan I would have used all the dough...next time!
If you notice the photo below, it doesn't have the white chocolate drizzle. After I cut and tasted the bar, I realized I should have increased the sugar amount to compensate for the tartness of the cranberries. But...I fixed the sweetness problem with melting and drizzling the white chocolate over the top. It added just enough sweetness.
So you can use the half cup sugar amount given and drizzle the white chocolate or increase the sugar and skip the drizzle...or do both! Can't be bad...right?
Begin by making the fruit filling by combining the cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange zest and orange juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Once it boils, stir the mixture and let it cook a few minutes til the cranberries pop and cook down a bit.
Then transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.
For the crust, combine the flour, brown sugar, almonds and salt in a food processor.
Add in the cold butter pieces and process til crumbly.
Then add the egg and vanilla and pulse ...
Til the mixture comes together.
Press two-thirds of the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan and pour the filling over top.
Press clumps of the remaining crust mixture over the filling.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar (or add more, up to 3/4 cup, for a sweeter filling)
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- zest of half orange
- juice of half an orange
Crust and Topping:
- 2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ozs.) AP flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used light)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (6 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 oz. white chocolate ( melted over hot water for drizzling), optional
Preheat oven to 350. Butter bottom of 9" pan.
1. To make the fruit filling: Combine the cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange zest and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil a few minutes til the cranberries pop and the mixture begins to thicken.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool and set aside.
3. To make the crust and topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, almonds and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process til crumbly.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and pulse just til the mixture comes together.
5. Press two-thirds of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, then pour the filling over top.
6. Press clumps of the remaining crumb mixture over the fruit filling.
7. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or til light golden brown and bubbling.
8. Cool one hour before cutting into serving pieces. Drizzle with the melted white chocolate if you like.