Big Fig Crumble Bars

Makes 12 bars

for pastry & topping:
1/3 walnuts or almonds, chopped
1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

for the filling:
1 pound fresh figs
2-3 tablespoons organic sugar
squeeze of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 8”x 8.5” glass baking pan. Fit with a sheet of parchment paper that extends over the longer sides by a few inches so you can easily lift the bars from from pan. These bars crumble. Combine the nuts and sugar in a small bowl, set aside.

In bowl of food processor, place 1/8 cup sugar, flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder, pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until pea-size clumps form. Add egg yolk and vanilla, mix until everything is combined. Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared loaf pan, pat down to create the base for the bars. Bake in the over for about 20 to 30 minutes, the edges should be golden brown, yet still soft in the center.

While the crust bakes make the jam filling. For the fig filling, chop the figs and add with the sugar in a large non-reactive pan. Sir the filling form time to time, and more often as the figs soften and the filling thickens, about 20 minutes. You will need to use about a full pound of fruit to make enough filling to make these Big Fig Crumble Bars. Cooking down different fruits will take varying times to thicken the fruit. If the fruit does thicken sufficiently, add a pinch of cornstarch to thicken the filling.

Spread the fruit filling over the baked crust. Add the nuts and sugar to the remaining crumble mixture and sprinkle over the fruit filling. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let rest in pan until cool. Lift the parchment paper sides to remove. Place in the refrigerator to firm slightly, then slice into 12 bars.

COOK’S NOTES: These bars a very jammy, fruity, more filling than topping. You may of course use a smaller quantity of fruit filling. The shortbread crumble base and topping is buttery, these are very a soft, crumbly bar. For strawberry filling, use the recipe Everyday Strawberry Jam, for blueberry use my Wild Blueberry Preserves, both on