Welcome to my saving grace. These bars make up for the fact I pretty much always forget to text you back on time. That I don’t say I love you as often as I should. For all the times I’ve left clothes/books/nail varnish/insert-any-other-inanimate-object-here just lying around the flat. The fact I get a little bit needy after a glass of wine. For my constant verbal mouth vomit about things you clearly don’t care about but lovingly pretend too. These bars can make up for all of that and after one bite you’ll want to be my bestie for life. Yes, they are that good.
These bars are a mash-up of all the best things in life. We’re talking a cakey almond base, with sharp jammy blueberry center and a golden crumble topping. Eaten warm they’re soft and gooey, ridiculously moreish. When cold they’re indulgent, firmer and taste even sweeter. You’ll want these bars in your life – and all your friends will too.
You can knock these up in 30 minutes with ingredients that are usually lying around your kitchen. Don’t have fresh fruits? You can swap them out for any frozen fruits you might have (defrost well first) or even just spread over some generous spoons of your favorite jam. Don’t like almonds? Leave them out! Replace them with a different type of chopped nut. These bars are yours to make your own.
The beauty of these bars is that the topping is made from the same mixture as the base – just mixed with a few more nuts and sprinkled loosely on top. We’re killing two birds with one stone here and getting ourselves closer to cake bar heaven an awful lot quicker too.
Ingredients makes 15-18 bars using a smaller tin or 30-32 if using a bigger tin
Base and topping
250 grams unsalted butter, chilled and in cubes
250 grams plain flour
125 grams ground almonds
200 grams golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lemons, zest only
1 large egg
Large handful of sliced almonds
200 grams blueberries
150 grams blackcurrants
3 tablespoons golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 lemon, zest and juice
1. Pre-heat oven to 190C (170C Fan). Butter a baking tin and then line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to help pull out the bars once cooled. Use a 23 x 32cm tin if you prefer more thinner bars. I used a 18 x 23 cm tin to give me fewer thicker bars.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon zest. Rub in the chilled butter till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then crack in the egg and mix well. Spoon 2/3 of the mixture into the tin and press down.
3. To make the filling place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a coarse chop. You don’t want to blend it too far till it makes a puree. If you don’t have a food processor just chop the berries up quite fine and then mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread the mixture over the base.
4. Mix the large handful of sliced almonds into the remaining base mixture. Sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool completely (if you can) as this will stop the bars crumbling.