It really feels like spring has sprung around here. We’re having lots of sun with a little chill in the air, the days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, and it all has me craving berries and dreaming of summer.
Though berries aren’t really at their peak this early, I can’t help but daydream about tart/sweet berries nestled in crisp, textured crumbles. These bars make use of always-at-their-peak frozen berries. The easy crumble acts as both a base and topping, and with the addition of cornmeal and ground almonds, makes for the best sandy texture.
These bars are unassuming at first, but I find myself sneaking a corner here and there, the tartness of the berries next to the pleasant grain of the cornmeal and almonds works some sort of magic that keeps me coming back. I’ve been snacking on these with a cup of tea or coffee, but they are elevated even more served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream–taking these treats from a humble bar into the realm of a real-deal dessert.
Raspberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart
I added lemon and vanilla to the crumble mixture, these additions aren’t necessary, but play nicely with the tart raspberries.
3/4 cup natural almonds OR 1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 350*F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
In a food processor, if using whole almonds, pulse until almonds are finely ground, you should have about 1 cup. In a large bowl rub lemon and vanilla into sugar until fragrant and combined. Whisk in the ground almonds, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and mix until the crumble is evenly moistened. Press about 2/3 of the crumble mixture, evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Scatter raspberries over the top and top with remaining crumble. Bake until the top is golden–about 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack before cutting.