Not sure about you, but we tend to overbuy at the Farmers Market this time of year, as the fruits just seem to beckon with their siren call. This means we are always looking for ways to use up fruit that is on the verge. You can make this treat with really any combo of berries and stone fruits. This bar hits all the right notes, sweet, tart, chewy with a little crunch. The addition of the almond extract instead of our go-to vanilla gave the bar a surprising undertone that was tasty. The kids had seconds! We made a second version a few days later with raspberries, strawberries and plum and used lime instead of lemon as we had no lemons. It was tangy, sweet and even better! You make the call based on the citrus you have on hand, may try orange next time!
Mixed Fruit Crumb Bars
Makes one 8 inch cake pan or one 8 inch square Pyrex
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
Zest of half a lemon
2 cups mixed berries and or stone fruit cut into small pieces (this had blackberries, strawberries and plums)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
Juice of ½ lemon
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 375
Grease an 8’ inch cake or Pyrex baking dish.
In a medium bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Then add in the cold butter and egg, cutting it in with a pastry cutter or fork. You can also use your fingers to break up any large pieces of butter. Once the mixture resembles crumbs, press half into the pan.
In another bowl, add sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and almond extract and mix. Carefully stir in fruit.
Spread fruit with juices evenly on top of dough and sprinkle with remaining dough. You want some fruit peeking out.
Bake 40-45 minutes until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Cool before slicing.
We got in the habit of making this cake to use up fruit that was on the verge of being overripe. The plums give it a sweet and sour counterpoint and its a great little cake for afternoon snacks or bring it to a pot luck.
Plum Snackcake with Pecan Topping
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (¼ stick), plus more for
coating the pan
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
5 medium plums, pitted and cut into ¾ -inch pieces
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
To make topping, in a medium bowl use your fingertips and work the brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt until the ingredients come together. Stir in the pecans, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make cake, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk together the milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. You can also use a hand held mixer. Add the eggs 1 at a time, letting the first completely incorporate before adding the second. Add a third of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in half of the milk mixture and mix on low until just incorporated. Repeat, alternating dry and wet ingredients and ending with the dry ingredients, until completely incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, fold the plums and turn the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved topping evenly over the top and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
This was a last minute dessert thrown together for bookclub. The lemon pound cake is delicious on its own, but with the fruit and cream it becomes a show stopper. This trifle is even better a day later when all the ingredients meld.
Lemon Berry Trifle
1 Lemon pound cake loaf, unglazed
2 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced in half,
1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus zest of lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint of whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
few leaves of fresh mint
In a saucepan combine 2/3 of the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cook on medium heat until the fruit begins to break down and sauce begins to thicken. Pour into container and cool in fridge.
Whip cream with powdered sugar and remaining vanilla extract until firm peaks.
Slice lemon cake into ¼ inch slices.
In a deep glass bowl, spoon some berry sauce on bottom and spread. Top with pound cake, cutting to fill in spaces. Top with more sauce, then whip cream. Along edge place strawberry with cut side facing out. Continue layering cake, sauce, cream and strawberries until you end with cream. Decorate top with remaining strawberries and fresh mint.
Chill in fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Lemon Pound Cake
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 ½ cup all purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
3 cups of granulated sugar
2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 4 tbsp. of lemon juice
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
Heat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not over mix). Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 65 to 75 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
A square meal is satisfying, nourishing, complete.
A round table includes all.