I have decided that some of my very favorite fruits are in-season and available in Wyoming for (what feels like) a total of 5 whole days every year. Cherries, plums, velvet apricots, white peaches and nectarines… seriously good stuff. Those stone fruits have my heart, what can I say?
The more I thought about my love for stone fruits, though, the more I realized how rarely they make it into my baking and cooking. I decided I must fix that immediately and devised two recipes which included them over the span of the last week. I made a stone fruit version of my Spiced Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Oatmeal using fresh peaches, plums, and cherries from our local Farmer’s Market. (I actually preferred this to the apple cinnamon combo- I will try to share the variation with you soon!)
And then came these bars…
Plum Apple Berry Crumble Bars, to be exact. This is the kind of dessert that begs to be taken to potlucks and parties, that is dying to be shared with neighbors, friends, and coworkers. They are beautiful ,for one, but they are bursting with fresh fruit flavor and honey-kissed whole-grain oats. Simple yet elegant, in their own way.
No one will ever guess they are (dare I say!) good for you. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and no refined sugars, but in case you haven’t noticed yet, no one misses them!
We start by making the crust. Almond and coconut flours meet old-fashioned rolled oats, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maple syrup, coconut oil, and maple almond butter bring it all together. Half of the crust is pressed into a baking dish and pre-baked while the other half patiently waits in the fridge for its time to shine.
Meanwhile, black plums, Honey Crisp apples, and blueberries are cooked over medium heat with more maple syrup and cinnamon, as well as tapioca flour to help thicken the jammy-goodness that will be your filling.
Onto the crust, we spread our plum apple berry jam. It will be thick and sticky and perfectly purple and ready to be topped with the remaining half of the crust mixture. Crumble the oat and flour mixture atop the purple jam and press lightly to make sure it’s all ready to bake. Into the oven, and now it is our turn to patiently wait…
Plum Apple Berry Crumble Bars
Plum Apple Berry Crumble Bars (adapted from Bakerita)
For the crust:
3 1/2 C almond flour
2 C gluten-free old-fashioned oats
1/2 C coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Scant 3/4 tsp nutmeg
2/3 C maple syrup
2/3 C softened coconut oil
1/4 C maple almond butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Fruit Filling:
4 black plums, diced
2 Honey Crisp apples, peeled and diced
1/2 C fresh blueberries
5 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash vanilla extract
Honey, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13″ glass dish with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the rolled oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, maple almond butter, vanilla, and egg. Add the wet ingredients and the softened coconut oil to the dry ingredients until a loose dough forms. It should stick together but still be crumbly. Press half the dough into the prepared pan and store the other half in the refrigerator until needed later.
- Prebake the crust for 13 minutes. Remove from oven to cool while you make the fruit filling.
- In a medium saucepan, cook the plums, apples, and blueberries over medium heat. Add in the maple syrup, tapioca flour, and cinnamon. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until the fruit is broken down. At this point, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender to break down all the larger pieces and plum skins. Return to the saucepan to continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes, adding in a dash of vanilla, until it reaches a jam-like, thickened consistency.
- Spread the fruit filling over the crust, then crumble the remaining dough over the top. Press lightly into the fruit filling, then bake for 40-45 minutes until the tops are turning golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 hours at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator for another hour prior to cutting into bars. Drizzle generously with local honey.
- Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 24 bars.
These beauties got all-around rave reviews. The drizzled honey on top really brings it home. The maple syrup takes a backseat and brings sweetness without strong maple flavor, so the honey pulls everything together in a very classic way… fruit, oats, and honey… what’s not to love?
Plan on making these Plum Apple Berry Crumble Bars? Follow me on Facebook, @ifitbakesyouhappy, or Instagram, @if_it_bakes_you_happy, and tag me in your photos. I’d love to see what’s cooking in your kitchen.