That includes a sweet-tart cherry pie filling and a buttery, crumbly brown sugar streusel, there’s a lot to like about these crumb-topped cherry pie bars. You’ll use frozen bitter cherries within the filling, which comes collectively shortly on the range. The crust and crumble topping are produced from the identical 1-bowl combination. (There’s no messing with pie crust at this time!) A drizzle of almond icing is the proper flavor-enhancing crowning glory.
Right now we’re giving our normal spherical pie dish a relaxation and making pie bars. Whereas I usually don’t thoughts placing within the effort and time to make a pie from scratch (it’s a labor of affection!), pie bar recipes are undoubtedly faster and simpler. And typically—OK, oftentimes—that’s very interesting!
For those who love cherry pie, however making pie crust from scratch intimidates you, this crumb-topped cherry pie bar recipe is the reply. You’ll nonetheless get pleasure from a jammy cherry filling, however with the welcome ease of creating a single “dough” that turns into each crust and topping—no finicky pie crust chilling, rolling, or shaping.
Why You’ll Love Cherry Pie Bars
- Simpler than pie—crust & topping produced from the identical 1-bowl combination
- Juicy, jammy cherry pie filling, produced from scratch
- Made with frozen bitter cherries, accessible 12 months spherical!
- Faster than many fruit fillings—no pitting, peeling, or chopping the fruit
- One other egg-free baking recipe
- Candy almond-flavored icing
- Straightforward to move, slice, serve, and freeze!
Whereas my traditional cherry pie recipe makes use of recent candy cherries, these cherry pie bars use frozen bitter cherries, so that you don’t should restrict this recipe to when cherries are in season. However, when you have recent, you may completely use them right here!
Right here’s every part you want:
Crust & Topping Made From Identical Combination
This step actually couldn’t be simpler. You want 1 bowl and a spatula (no mixer required!), and also you’ll use this dough for each the crust and the topping.
- All-Goal Flour: Flour is the bottom of the crust/crumble.
- Oats: Be at liberty to make use of both complete rolled oats or fast oats right here. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of oats so as to add to the crumble topping earlier than sprinkling it on prime of the cherry pie filling.
- Brown Sugar: I like utilizing brown sugar in a dough/crumble like this, due to the moisture and taste it offers.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder retains the crust/crumble on the lighter aspect. With out it, the feel could be a bit too onerous and dense.
- Lemon Zest & Salt: Small quantities however undoubtedly essential for flavorful bars. The lemon zest brightens up the zingy bitter cherry taste much more, and salt enhances every part.
- Melted Butter: Utilizing melted butter makes this a stir-by-hand combination (identical to these chewy chocolate chip cookies!). It binds the substances collectively and offers taste.
Stir all of it collectively, then reserve about 1/3 of the crumble combination to make use of because the topping. Press the remaining right into a lined 9-inch-square baking pan. I wish to line pans with parchment paper so I can simply elevate the entire thing out of the pan, and reduce it into squares on a reducing board. I like to recommend the identical for white chocolate raspberry cheesecake bars and M&M cookie bars, too.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes earlier than you prime it with the filling.
Tart Bitter Cherries vs. Darkish Candy Cherries
Like with apples, styles of cherries vary in taste, texture, and measurement. Some varieties are generally known as “candy, snacking cherries,” and others are generally known as “bitter” or “tart” cherries. Whereas the sweeter, firmer varieties are perfect for consuming all by themselves, the smaller bitter/tart varieties are wonderful for baking.
If the phrase “bitter” places you off, take into consideration all of the scrumptious bitter flavors we get pleasure from in baked items, like cranberries, lemon, and rhubarb. Somewhat added sugar balances the bitter with candy, and the result’s mouth-watering, not mouth-puckering.
Bitter cherries are decrease in sugar than candy cherries however greater in acidity, which provides them a vivid taste, and cooking them concentrates the sugars in order that they style sweeter.
For those who had been to purchase canned cherry pie filling, that’s made with bitter cherries! So the bitter cherry filling going into these pie bars tastes like THE quintessential cherry pie filling. Assume: the storybook hometown diner cherry pie of your desires. 🙂
Cook dinner the Bitter Cherry Pie Filling on the Range
Let me stroll you thru this so that you perceive the cooking step earlier than you begin. You want 3 and 1/2 cups (about 525g) of recent or frozen bitter cherries. No have to thaw. Mix them in a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook dinner till the cherries start to launch their juices, then pour a few of that heat cherry liquid right into a small bowl of cornstarch. Use a fork to dissolve the cornstarch:
Why are we doing this? Like with this blueberry sauce and strawberry dessert sauce, it’s essential make a cornstarch slurry combination, as a result of including powdery cornstarch to the fruit leaves you with chalky chunks of undissolved cornstarch. And, right here, you don’t wish to add extra liquid to the cherry filling, in order that’s why we’re actually utilizing liquid from the cooking cherries.
Good and thick just like the canned stuff, however utterly home made:
Unfold the nice and cozy filling over the pre-baked crust. Stir an extra 2 Tablespoons of oats into the remaining crumble combination, to provide it a bit further quantity, then sprinkle it over the filling earlier than baking.
No, I don’t advocate canned cherries on this recipe. Canned cherries usually produce other substances added. And if you will discover a can/jar that’s simply pure cherries in liquid, they’re already fairly delicate and can cook dinner into mush. I don’t advocate them right here.
Sure, you should use recent pitted cherries as an alternative of frozen. The cooking and baking directions stay the identical.
Sure, we examined this and it really works splendidly with 2 modifications. Cut back the sugar within the filling to 1/3 cup (67g) and add one other 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Nonetheless, if I had to decide on, I’d use bitter cherries right here.
Cool baked crumb-topped cherry pie bars utterly, identical to you’ll let a cherry pie cool utterly. For those who reduce the bars into squares whereas they’re nonetheless heat, they’ll crumble.
For those who’d wish to prime with icing, whisk collectively the almond icing substances within the recipe card under, or you could possibly make this vanilla icing as an alternative. Each is produced from solely 3 substances and comes collectively in a flash. PIE BAR PERFECTION, and completely from scratch.
That is cherry pie with out the effort of creating a home made pie crust! You’ll use frozen (or recent) bitter cherries within the filling, which comes collectively shortly on the range. The crust and crumble topping are produced from the identical 1-bowl combination. A drizzle of almond icing is the proper flavor-enhancing crowning glory. Cool utterly earlier than icing and reducing.
Crust + Topping
Almond Icing (Non-obligatory)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9-inch sq. baking pan (I like this one and this one) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the edges to simply elevate the bars out of the pan. Put aside.
- Make the crust: Whisk the flour, 1 cup (85g) oats, brown sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt collectively in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and vanilla, and stir till the combination resembles moist crumbly sand and no dry spots stay. You should have a bit greater than 3 cups of crust combination, or about 520g. Press 2/3 of the combination (about 2 cups/345g—doesn’t should be precise) into the ready baking pan. Press it into the pan (together with your arms, a big spoon or spatula, or the underside of a measuring cup) to kind a crust. Bake for 10 minutes, after which take away from the oven to barely cool.
- Make the filling: Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and put aside, inside attain of the range. In a medium saucepan set over medium warmth, mix the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till the cherries start to launch their juices—about 4 to six minutes. Whereas the cherries proceed to cook dinner, rigorously take away a few spoonfuls of the juice from the saucepan and add to the bowl of cornstarch. Utilizing a fork, combine the cornstarch and cherry juice collectively till the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir this combination into the filling, then carry to a boil and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till the filling has thickened, about 10 minutes. Take away from warmth and stir within the almond extract.
- Pour/unfold the filling over the nice and cozy crust. Stir 2 Tablespoons oats into the remaining crumble combination, then sprinkle it everywhere in the filling, and evenly press it down with the again of a giant spoon or flat spatula.
- Bake for about 40–50 minutes or till the highest is evenly browned and a toothpick comes out *largely* clear (with just a few jammy cherry specks!). Mine take about 45 minutes.
- Take away from the oven and permit the bars to chill utterly within the pan set on a wire rack. After about 1 hour, you may place the entire pan within the fridge to assist velocity issues up.
- Make the non-compulsory icing: Whisk the icing substances collectively. Add extra milk to skinny out, if desired. Drizzle over cooled bars.
- Raise the bars out of the pan utilizing the sides of the parchment paper lining and place the entire thing on a reducing board. Slice squares with a pointy knife and, for neat squares, wipe the knife clear between every reduce.
- Cowl and retailer leftover cherry pie bars (with or with out icing) at room temperature for as much as 2 days or within the fridge for as much as 1 week.
- Make Forward & Freezing Directions: You possibly can refrigerate the cooled bars earlier than reducing into squares, see step 6. Baked and cooled bars freeze nicely as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge and convey to room temperature, if desired, earlier than serving.
- Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): 9-Inch Square Baking Pan or this 9-Inch Square Baking Pan | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Citrus Zester | Citrus Juicer | Cooling Rack
- Can I take advantage of canned/jarred cherries? No, I don't advocate canned cherries on this recipe. Canned cherries usually produce other substances added. And if you will discover a can/jar that’s simply pure cherries in liquid, they’re already fairly delicate and can cook dinner into mush. I don't advocate them right here.
- Can I take advantage of darkish candy cherries as an alternative of bitter? Sure, we examined this and it really works splendidly with 2 modifications: Cut back the sugar within the filling to 1/3 cup (67g) and add one other 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Nonetheless, if I had to decide on, I'd use bitter cherries right here.
- Can I bake this in a 9×13-inch pan? You possibly can, however I've had higher outcomes baking a smaller batch, as written, within the 9-inch sq. pan. If you wish to make a bigger batch, double every ingredient and bake in a 9×13-inch pan. Enhance crust pre-bake time to 18 minutes. Enhance the bake time after including the filling & crumble topping to 1 hour, or till filling is effervescent.
Key phrases: cherry pie bars