Saturday, August 01, 2020

Katie at the Kitchen Door: Red Currant Crumb Bars

I don't know how it happened, but I somehow lucked into running across some beautiful red currants at the grocery store.  I figure maybe I should also have bought a lottery ticket.  I briefly considered making some jam with those beauties, but when it came down to it, I just couldn't bring myself to pull out the canning kit when the temperatures are so high.  So I turned on the oven instead.  Hey, it's about an hour less heat time.  And I got these gorgeous bars in the bargain.

Red Currant Crumb Bars

1⅔ cups granulated sugar, divided use
4 cups fresh red currants, washed and removed from their stems
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1⅓ sticks (5.3 ounces) salted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8x8-inch cake pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, gently stir together 1 cup of the sugar, the currants, cornstarch, and the almond extract, until currants are coated with the sugar mixture.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the remaining ⅔ cup of sugar, the flour, the baking powder, and the salt until evenly combined. Add the chilled butter cubes and the egg, and use a pastry cutter or a fork to blend the butter and egg into the flour. When finished, dough will be crumbly with pea-sized chunks of butter.

Press ⅔ of the dough into the prepared pan. Top with the currants. Clump the remaining dough together into a loose ball, then crumble it over the top of the currant mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until currants are bubbly and top of crust is golden brown.

Makes 16 servings

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