Posts Tagged 'fruit'

Blackberry Bars

Summer is in full swing and so are all the summer get-togethers! I needed to throw together a dessert and this is a great one since you probably have everything in your pantry!

These fruit bars are also known as struesel bars or linzer torte bars (depending on what fruit you use). You can use ANY fruit jam, preserve, or even mash up some fresh fruit with a fork (maybe run it through a sieve to get the seeds out though…)

You can also use any kind of nut you have on hand. I used a combination of almonds and walnuts because that’s what was hanging out in my freezer.

AND this is a super simple recipe…so simple that I’ve memorized it!

Start with 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 stick of softened butter.

Use the butter wrapper to grease your pan!

Mix in 1 cup of finely chopped nuts (you can use ground nuts if you’d like, but I like it chopped) and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon…it’ll be course and crumbly like this:

Press 2/3 of this mixture in the bottom of a pan (9X9 or something close to that).

Bake it for 10 minutes at 375 degrees, until slightly golden. Spread 2/3 to 1 cup of preserves on there…depending on how fruity you like it. I used sugar-free blackberry preserves here.

Throw the rest of your crumbly mixture on top of the fruit layer.

Bake for 15 minutes, until it’s golden and the preserves are bubbly.

Let it cool completely before you cut it into squares.

Enjoy!

Tips:

Lightly toast the nuts and cool them before adding them to the crumble mixture. You’ll get a better flavor.

Walnuts are really recommended for this, but you could use almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts…I wouldn’t recommend peanuts or cashews though.

Use jam or preserves, not jelly. The jelly would just melt…and I don’t think there’s any real fruit in jelly…

Seriously…any fruit jam or preserve…strawberry, raspberry, orange marmelade, apricot…anything!

Retirement Party, Part 2

Not everyone eats sweets and, more importantly,  not everyone likes the combo of cupcakes and beer, so I decided to try my hand at making an edible fruit arrangement.

You’ve probably seen these before…impossibly beautiful, these are elaborate and expensive!

I honestly have no idea how they keep the fruits from being too juicy…

Here is the equipment I used:

Easter grass, a styrofoam cone, a flower pot, bamboo skewers, and small cookie cutters. If you have a crinkle-cut knife or other fruit-carving tools, by all means…go crazy. I also hear that a head of iceburg lettuce would work well instead of styrofoam and Easter grass. You would just have to carve it to fit inside your flower pot.

Cut the Styrofoam cone to size and place (upside down) in the flower pot. You might want to put some grass in the bottom first to stabilize it. Then place some more grass on top and tuck it into the sides.

I just cut cross-sections of canteloupe and honeydew and cut out flowers and circles with cookie-cutters:

A few other tips:

1. Wash the strawberries and remove the leaves, but do not cut off the tops. The less you cut them, the longer they will keep.

2. Keep the strawberries away from the pineapple. Since I used canned pineapple chunks (I got lazy!), the sweeteners might cause the berries to macerate.

3. Thread the skewers in a consistent pattern for a more uniform look.

4. If you’re making this ahead, store the kabobs in a large zippered food storage bag lined with paper towel. When you’re ready to party, just pull them out and stab into the grass-covered styrofoam.

The final product…Okay, it looks nothing like an Edible Arrangement, but hey, it is edible and it is an arrangement…

Next time…

I would try a “topiary”-style fruit arrangement, using different lengths of skewers and filling in any empty areas with lime leaves or even pandan leaves (or any other non-poisonous greenery). You might need to cover the styrofoam with plastic wrap to keep the fruit from touching the foam since it is not food-safe.