I’m definitely not a baker. Baking involves measuring stuff, and if you realize when it’s in the oven that you messed something up, there’s really nothing you can do to fix it. And, you know, my whole cooking method is just going for it, all in, and then fixing it when I make a terrible call and royally mess everything up. So, I think baking is scary, and people who do it really well are food wizards with magic powers.
But, I happen to have in my possession a whole bunch of tart cherries to play with, courtesy of my boyfriend’s mom who has cherry trees with a serious harvest this year. So I’ve been excited to use them and have been thinking of what I want to do with them for a few days – involving some procrastination because, like I said, I’m intimidated by baking.
Then I came across this recipe on Veganmotherhubbard.net for Sour a Cherry Oat Bars (Recipe Here, and check her stuff out!) and I thought, ok, I can do this. Me being me I changed it to make it my own, but I used her basic measurements for flour, sugar, etc. and baking times because, well, she knows what she’s doing and I needed a guide.
Anyway, here is the result! One of my first proper attempts at baking, so I’m really happy with how it turned out. Holy deliciousness. It’s vegan but so flipping decadent! And, you know, not that healthy for you. But everyone needs dessert and I don’t believe that never enjoying dessert/life is healthy in the long run 😉
And yep, I did make up the name crumble bars because that’s the closest description of what they are.
VEGAN SOUR CHERRY, BLUEBERRY AND WALNUT CRUMBLE BARS
(For the crust)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup oat flour (just grind up whole oats in a food processor until fine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup coconut oil
Pinch of salt
(For the filling)
3 cups cherries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
(For the topping)
Preheat your oven to 375. Get out your food processor and grind some whole oats to a fine, flour-like texture if you don’t have any oat flour on hand. Combine the oat flour, whole oats, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt for the crust in a large mixing bowl. Melt the coconut oil until liquid and pour into the mixture. Mix in until it’s all well combined – it should be a bit crumbly but still thick and moist. Set aside about 1 1/2 cups of this mixture to use as a topping. Grease an 8×8 pan and set the rest of the crust into the bottom. Flatten it down to create an even surface covering the whole bottom. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
While that’s baking, rinse out and dry your mixing bowl to use for the filling mix. Combine the cherries, blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour in the bowl and mix it around so the fruit is all coated.
After 10 minutes, take the crust out and reduce the oven temp to 350. Pour the filling mix over the crust and spread over the whole surface. Then add the remaining crust mix over the top, but don’t pack it down very much, leave it loose and crumbly. Sprinkle a handful of chopped walnuts over the top and push them into the top crust a bit (you could also mix them into the top crust before adding it to the dish, but I was too lazy for that). Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top and a little brown sugar – it’s already sweet, so you don’t need much of that.
Pop back into the oven at 350 and bake for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool completely, then slice and eat! Or keep in the fridge for later if you’re one of the people with will power who can make something and not eat it immediately. Clearly, I decided I needed a piece while I was taking some pictures of it. No shame.
- I had all these things in my pantry and only had to pick up some oats (the rest of which I can eat for breakfast!) So use whatever flour and sugar you have on hand, brown sugar would be fine too. It’s always good to keep some all-purpose flour around anyway to thicken sauces etc. in a pinch
- Try it with different berries, depending in what is cheap at the store!