Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crumbly Peach Bars

I had to add peach schnapps to this recipe. HAD to.

Ok. Explanation: I saw this recipe yesterday and knew that it was THE recipe to end peach season with. I combed all the fruit bodegas near me in Astoria. I had just bought great peaches from them two weeks earlier and discovered that my biggest fear was true: Peach season is over. Sure, there were peaches, but they were all hard and didn't smell like a peach. The summer days of just grabbing any peach at the stand and biting into a lovely, succulent peach were over. I found three peaches that seemed like they might be ok to use.

Unfortunately, one was a dud. Out of the other two peaches, one was great and one was ok. To make the ok one better, I decided to soak it in peach schnapps. Naturally. Thus, a mediocre peach = I HAD to add peach schnapps to the recipe.

Another thing I decided to do? Well, you know me - big on messes. Totally took the option 3 route and used my hands to blend the crumbs mixture.
One more cool thing about this recipe: it was the first time I browned butter. Browning butter is fun!
Crumbly Peach Bars (adapted from The Sweet Art)
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg
3 peaches, peeled and sliced into small chunks or thin slices

Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly. (Erika's Extras: This process took me 20 minutes.)
Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray.

Soak cut up peaches in peach schnapps (enough to cover the peaches).
In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Use a pastry blender, fork, or your fingertips and blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will become crumbly.

Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly.

Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Feel free to use some of the peach schnapps on this layer, but just a little bit of the leftover liquid.

Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges.

Cool in pan before cutting into squares.
Bake well and prosper!

6 comments:

  1. oh wow! this sounds so yummy!! i shall try this out this weekend. thank you for inspring me:)

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  2. These are really MESSY peach bars! Who cares...as long as they are crumbly and delicious...

    I do enjoy reading your story of searching for the last peaches in NY before the end of peach season. I sometimes do that kind of thing too...LOL

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  3. Love browning butter, and I mixed the crumbs by hand too! So messy but oddly satisfying and gets the job done much better. Great post! I never have peach Schnapps handy, but I'll have to remember to keep it around...
    :)

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  4. OMG isn't the smell of browning butter completely Devine?love your peach treats and your inspired addition :).
    So glad to have you in our croissant challenge Yaaaaay!
    Have a fantastic weekend!
    *kisses* HH

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  5. burnt butter is one of my fav flavours ever...sooooo good. i love the look of your crumbly and 'messy' peach bars...seems so fingerlicking good! and yay...now im looking fwd to peach season on my side of the earth :D

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Thanks for taking time to leave a message! xo - EB