I love strawberries and from the response that these muffins and galettes got, I can safely assume that you pretty much love them too!! Although, much of the western hemisphere celebrates it as a summer berry, we in India get it during the winter months from late december to march. Over the past decade, they've become more easily available and if anything, I wished we got the other berries too - blueberries, raspberries, cranberries... Moreover, I really enjoy baking with the fruit of the season.. apart from the freshness that the fruit imparts, it is also a break from my regular baking, that more often than not, centres around chocolate!! And lets be honest, its also easier on the diet conscience...well..not really...but then, we can always find comfort in our l'il white lies!!!
After all the kneading and excitement over my first loaf of bread that I baked the other day, I wanted to resort back to something more in character i.e. fuss-free and simple!! These bars looked good when I saw them and plus,bars have been on my baking to-do list for some time!!
I found this recipe on the 'Taste of Home' website when i googled for it and seemed pretty straightforward!! I did tweak the recipe to add some whole wheat flour and instead of store-bought strawberry preserve, I made some home-made strawberry jam!!
I am no Martha Stewart and nor do I have any ambition to be one but I do have a stash of super-easy recipes that can make me sound like one!! I have added the recipe for the jam here if you wanna give it a go. The first time I made this jam, a few years back, my mother nearly wept tears of joy as she realized that there might still be some hope for her younger daughter on the culinary front!! So, if you are considered the culinary nobody of the family, give this jam recipe a shot and silence the skeptics!!
The verdict on the bars was that they were good but were even better a day or two later. The extra day gave them a chance to 'come together' as opposed to being a bit crumbly when they first came out of the oven. They were so simple and took me, with the baking time, an hour to make!!
The oat and flour crumble mixture is full of texture and flavour and is healthy without tasting so, if you know what I mean!! The main star,of course, is that layer of strawberry preserve that cuts through the bars and peeks through the crumble mixture on top. Try these to understand why sometimes, the best tasting food is the easiest to make!!
Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars
Cook time: 35-40 mins
makes 20 bars (but depends on how you cut them)
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats (I used Quaker's)
- 1/2 cup demerara sugar/ white sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup strawberry jam (You can use blueberry/blackberry/cherry jam or any other preserve of your choice)
- Line a baking tin - I used a 13-inch x 9-inch shallow baking tin.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C.
- In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients - flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and oats.
- Add the butter and vanilla and stir until crumbly.
- Set aside 1 cup of the mixture.
- Take the remaining mixture and press it into the baking tin. I pressed the mixture with the bottom of my measuring cup so that it was tightly packed and well-compressed.
- Spread the jam/preserve over the mixture.
- Sprinkle over the remaining crumble mixture over the jam/preserve. Let the jam/preserve peek through some of the crumble.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the mixture is lightly browned.
- Remove them along with the lined paper and cool on a wire rack. Let them cool to room temperature before you cut them or they will crumble easily.
Recipe from Tarla Dalal
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and allow it to rest for a while.
- Mash lightly and cook in a saucepan over a slow flame till the mixture is syrupy.
- Cool completely, add the lemon juice and store refrigerated in a clean bottle.