Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

IMG_2818.jpg

Peaches! They are everywhere now and my peach tree isn't even ripe yet so there are more to come. This is an official request for your favorite recipe that includes peaches. It doesn't have to be dessert - in fact, it would be great if it weren't. There has been a lot of dessert at the Levy household recently.

IMG_2815_2.jpg
IMG_2814.jpeg

I've been in a bit of a funk in the kitchen these past few weeks. Aside from these bars and the Peach Crostata, everything I've made has been mediocre. I haven't felt inspired by any of the recipes in the recent issues of Bon Appétit, Saveur, or Food & Wine. Maybe my plea should extend beyond recipes that include peaches to include anything you've made recently that was awesome. Please help! We are hosting a barbeque this weekend and I need to get back in my groove before then.

These Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars were a huge step in the right direction. The peach layer perfectly complements the sturdy but moist bottom crust and the crumble topping. The combination of peaches and pecans is southern-inspired perfection. These are ideal for a party because you can make them in advance and they slice nicely into bars for easy serving. I had to stop myself from eating an entire row of these tonight while I was supposed to be making dinner and taking photos. Instead, I had a few more nibbles of a bar and stared out my kitchen window at the peach tree willing the peaches to ripen.

IMG_2817.jpg

Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

Yield = 1 9x13" pan

Adapted slightly from The Kitchn (also tested by Dessertification)

Base Dough

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour

1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Peach Filling

2 pounds peaches, unpeeled (about 8 peaches - err on the side of more peaches)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pecan Oat Topping

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour, divided

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup flour

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Glaze

Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons

1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients in just until the dough is soft and pulled together. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling and topping.

Roughly chop the peaches into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

Wipe out the mixer bowl and mix 1/4 cup softened butter with the oats, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt until soft and crumbly. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.

Spread the chopped peaches over the chilled dough base. Evenly crumble the topping over the peaches, and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.

Whisk together the lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over the bars.

Cool (or chill) for at least an hour before slicing and serving. If you want the bars to stay together when you slice them, you must chill them.  I also felt that the bars actually improved after a night in the refrigerator.  These will stay fresh (and slice more cleanly) for about 5 days when stored well-covered in the fridge.

IMG_2804.jpg