Peach & Blackberry Bars | August 24, 2016

Peaches from the Northwest are the BEST!  I don’t think as an East Coaster I ever knew that until I worked for Harry & David in Oregon for a spell.  I then realized that the peaches grown in the Pacific Northwest are the most juicy, sweet, peachiest peaches anywhere!

At grocery stores here, starting in early August, stacks and stacks of fresh picked, local peaches taunt you as you walk in to simply buy eggs or broccoli. Each week this month I have been tortured into make fresh peach ice cream, peach coffee cake, peach bars, grilled peaches – you get the idea.  My life is so hard sometimes.

The picture above is of the gorgeous peaches I picked up this week coupled with blackberries growing wild (nice way of saying out of control) in my backyard.  I think the two fruits are perfect compliments to one another.  Sweet and tart. Light and dark.  Soft fuzziness and lethally prickly.

This recipe is a breeze.  Buttery shortbread crust with peaches and blackberries tossed in brown sugar and a few spices, dotted with crumbly streusel, baked until golden brown without overcooking the fruit into oblivion.

Ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom – the spice trifecta!

PEACH & BLACKBERRY BARS

YIELDS 16  |  PREP TIME 15  |  COOK TIME 30  |  PRINT PDF

INGREDIENTS

Crust & Crumble

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 large egg

Peach Prep

2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)
1/2 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed well, patted dry
2 T brown sugar
1 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed
sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprinkle of cardamom

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly. Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly.

Cut peaches into thin slices and add to a bowl of 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a light sprinkle of cinnamon.  Stir gently and let stand for 5 minutes.

Arrange peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Add blackberries. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over fruit and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges.

Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.