I’ve been taking full advantage of what this season has to offer; I love autumn for all its harvest goodness. Spring and summer have amazing treats but autumn has the biggest variety of things to choose from.
At the moment blackberries and apples are bountiful, the hedgerows are bursting with both of these wonderful items. You don’t have to go foraging, as your local supermarket shelves will be overflowing with these products at the moment.
So I wanted to make something that would help these seasonal fruits shine and not be over powered by other flavours and textures of the bake.
A tray bake is a brilliant way to showcase fruit as traditionally it should have layers and therefore you can have a whole layer dedicated to your fruit filling.
This recipe is so simple to make, I whipped it up in no time at all and all with pantry staples. Flour, butter, sugar, rolled oats, baking powder, ground cinnamon, cornflour (cornstarch) and a pinch of salt. To up the fibre levels even more I used plain wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour this combined with the blackberries that are rich in fibre also made me feel good about eating this! Don’t worry if you don’t have wholemeal flour white flour will work in this recipe.
Because of the natural sugars in the fruits I didn’t add a lot of refined sugars, just 80 grams (1/2 cup) of light soft brown sugar is added to the base and 2 tablespoons are added to the fruit filling. I didn’t want this to be an overly sweet bar, as I said before I wanted the fruits to be the main star, and boy they were.
To satisfy my sweet tooth and to add a little extra cinnamon goodness, I added a simple cinnamon glaze drizzled across the top. This is not needed but the lovely added cinnamon kick really compliments the lovely fruit.
If you are looking for a sweet that is not too sweet then look no further this one is for you.
*Measurements in cups are a guide this recipe was made using metric weight*
Blackberry and Apple Crumb Bars
Yield 9 bars
A lovely seasonal tray bake full of blackberries and apples.
Ingredients for the base and crumb
- 45 grams rolled oats, (1/2 cup)
- 185 grams plain wholemeal flour (whole-wheat), (1 and 1/4 cups)
- 80 grams light soft brown sugar, (1/2 cup)
- 90 grams Unsalted butter, (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ingredients for the fruit filling
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 100 millilitres water, (7 tablespoons)
- 225 grams (prepared weight) 4 small dessert apples peeled/cored and diced, (1 and 3/4 cups)
- 125 grams blackberries, (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons light soft brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- 2 tablespoons water
For the glaze
- 5 tablespoons Icing sugar (Confectioners sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon water
Direction for the base & topping
- Preheat your oven to 190C / 375F / Gas mark 5 and line an 8 x 8 inch tin with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl add all the dry ingredients together and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Add the butter and mix it in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Take 2/3rds of your mixture and pour it into your prepared pan and spread it out evenly and press it down till its firm. Pop it in your hot oven for 15 minutes, until it is a nice golden colour.
Directions for the fruit filling
- While the base is in the oven, take your prepared fruit, if you did it in advance add the blackberries, sugar and gently heat and simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. You want your fruit to keep a little of its shape but be soft to the touch.
- If you haven’t pre-prepared your fruit, in a small pan add the lemon juice and water. Peel, core and dice your apples, place your diced apple in the pan and coat it with the liquid to stop it turning brown. Add the blackberries, sugar and heat as above.
- Once the fruit has softened turn the heat to low and in a cup measure out your cornflour (cornstarch) and water and mix it till it looks like milk.
- Pour this mixture into your fruit and quickly stir it in. Within a minute or two it will start to thicken and look and feel a lot like jam. Take the pan off the heat and set aside until your base is ready.
Directions for the crumb layer
- Once the base is ready pour your fruit on top of it and gently spread it out until every inch is covered in fruit jam.
- Take your remaining mixture and sprinkle it over the fruit jam.
- Pop it back in the oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine is a little slower as its gas but an electric oven will be faster so keep checking at the 20-minute mark.
- You are looking for your crumb layer to have a nice golden toasted colour to it.
- Take it out of the oven and allow it to fully cool down in its tin. If you are a little impatient the fridge will help speed things up a bit 🙂
For the glaze
- Mix the icing sugar and cinnamon together and add the water, if you like your icing a little runnier add a touch more water.
- Once your tray bake is cold, drizzle your icing over it and gently lift it out with the parchment paper and cut you bake into 9 equal squares.
- I then put mine back into its tin and kept it in the fridge as this kind of bar is best left cold so the fruit layer keeps it shape.
- Kept in the fridge this tray bake will easily keep for 5 days.
If you want to prepare your fruit in advance to speed the bake up, place the lemon juice and the water in a small pan and add your peeled, cored and diced apple to the liquid. Stir it all around so all the apple is coated so this will stop you apples going brown.
Courses Slices / Bars