OPINION | FRONT BURNER: Peach Crumb Bars sweet treats with a pie vibe

Peach Crumb Bars (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)
Peach Crumb Bars (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

A few weeks ago I was the fortunate recipient of a visit from the Peach Fairy — a friend had stealthily left a box of fresh peaches and eggs on my front porch.

This same friend was my TP Fairy back in the dark days of 2020 when paper products were as rare as hen's teeth.

After sharing some with my mom and mom-in-law I still had plenty and I knew just what to make. The following recipe was one I had saved to try for the peach story that ran June 23, but I ran out of peaches before I could make it.

These bars are best the day they are baked, but they'll keep (and soften quite a bit) covered at room temperature for a few days.

The shortbread cookie base keeps these bars from tasting like pie, but there's a definite pie vibe with the crumb topping and juicy peach filling.

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Peach Crumb Bars

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided use
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided use
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 heaping cups diced peeled peaches
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together 1 cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg and mix until the dough starts to hold together, but is still crumbly. Gently press a little more than half the dough into the prepared pan.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add the diced peaches and toss to combine. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice over the peaches and toss to coat. Pour the peach mixture over the crust and spread evenly.

Using your hands, press together handfuls of the remaining crumb topping to create clumps. Scatter the clumps and remaining crumbled topping over the fruit.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before icing.

For the icing, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, softened butter and remaining lemon juice. Drizzle on the bars just before serving.

Recipe adapted from savingdessert.com

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