Secret Recipe Club: Raspberry Crumb Bars

.  With all of the chaos and massive changes going on in my life right now, it's nice to have some constants.  Something comforting, something that I can rely on to always be there.

I've been a part of the SRC for some time now, perusing through someone else's blog each month to find the perfect recipe to share with you all.    So even though I am now in a brand new city, in a brand new 'home', and starting a brand new job, saying it was nice to come back to the familiar SRC would be an understatement.  So let's jump right in to this month's go-around!

For July I was assigned Mele Cotte, written by the lovely Christina [Chris], who named her blog so because her mom's baked apples [the literal Italian translation] were her favorite dessert growing up.  Great, huh?!

Growing up in the Boston area, Chris was surrounded by her family of experienced Italian cooks,  homemade, quality food has always been at the center of every aspect in her life.  And through blogging, Chris has taken the opportunity to create new recipes using only what she has on hand!  I give her props...

If you get the chance to browse through her vast collection of mouthwatering recipes, you'll get that homey, comfort food, Italian flare, feeling I was telling you about.  So picking out just one recipe to test out this month was rather difficult, seeing as Pasta Crab Casserole, Pimento Cheese Brulee, and Four Cheese Stuffed Shells, were a-callin' my name.

But as usual, I had to stick to LSM roots [which kind of tells me I need to branch out a bit...] and went with a summery dessert: Raspberry Crumb Bars.

I pride LSM on the fact that I try to stick to seasonal recipes.  But looking back on this summer, that has not been the case.  Not really sure what it's been, but I've only taken on a small handful of summer treats.  And that just isn't permissible.  So these cake-like bars were just the remedy.

If you try these bars out, I imagine you'll be sitting near a sun-lit window, drinking your morning, coffee, and indulging in this just-sweet-enough goodie.  And here's why...

The flavors of this recipe are very subtle, a barely-there cinnamoney cake-like-bar hosts the ripe, tart, juicy raspberries, topped with a crumble of the same cinnamoney-crust.  The cake mixture is barely sweetened, so you won't go into a sugar coma first thing in the morning.  And I'll tell you right now, the results of this recipe will only be as good as the fruit you put in it since the raspberries are the shining star.  So go all out!

But if you happen to not polish off the pan before breakfast is over, these bars will be the perfect snack to get you through the day.

So thanks, Chris, for a recipe that will get our fellow readers excited for the morning!  See you all for the next SRC!  .

My Notes:
  • I had an extra can of Lucky Leaf Raspberry Pie Filling in my cupboard, and because I didn't have any fresh raspberries on hand, I opted to use it.  I think the added sweetness and juices really made a difference, but if you want to go the fresh route [always a good choice!] then you'll need to combine 4 cups of fresh raspberries, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small bowl, then spread over the crust.
  • If you don't have cardamom, you can substitute equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg.

Adapted from Mele Cotte

3 c. all purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1 c. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. almond extract
1 (21 oz.) can raspberry pie filling (or fruit filling of your choice)

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.  Grease a 9x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.  
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in eggs and almond extract.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Evenly spread the pie filling over the crust.  Sprinkle over remaining crumb mixture.  Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  Cool on wire rack completely before cutting and serving.
Yield: 16 servings

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  1. Oh, these look beautiful! Love your pictures, they so bright and colorful.

  2. Omg, this look to die for!

  3. These look wonderful! I love the use of pie filling. Brilliant! Thanks for perusing my blog and your sweet words.

  4. Wow! These look wonderful! I've been wanting to make raspberry crumb bars for awhile now. I didn't realize they made raspberry pie filling in a can. I'm on a hunt now! (Added sweetness is always good) =o)

  5. Jess, you are correct. This is a comfort food. It is always nice to get back to SRC every month and see all our Group C friends. Take care.

  6. These bars look absolutely amazing!!! I love all with berries!

  7. LOVE that you used pie filling! These could be made with so many flavors!

  8. Great choice- I love how gooey the raspberry filling looks. Yum!

  9. Your bars are just beautiful. I love all that red raspberry oozing up through the crumb topping. I can almost taste it!

  10. Scrumptious! Would love to try but with other fruits as raspberries are very rare here!

  11. I had Chris' blog last month and made these same bars. They are delicious!

  12. I just bought a can of raspberry pie filling and now I think I know how I will use it. Have bookmarked your lovely recipe. Found you thru the link party at nap time creations.

  13. Oh wow - I will need to make these with cherries - my favorite fruit right now! It was so fun getting to know you thru your blog this month - hope the move went well and you had a great 1st week at your new job!

  14. Oh my gosh - those are GORGEOUS!! Saving to try hopefully soon! :)


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