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Apple-Cherry Crumble Bars

Reminiscent of a fruit crisp, this sweet-tart dessert upends the usual proportions of jammy filling and buttery oatmeal crumble to great effect.

  • yield: Makes 2 dozen
Photography: Victor Schrager

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried apples, about 7 ounces
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries, about 4 1/2 ounces
  • 1 3/4 cups apple cider
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for dish

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Simmer apples, cherries, and cider in a covered saucepan, stirring occasionally, until fruits are softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Let cool.

  2. Step 2

    Coarsely chop fruit. Combine with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and reserved cooking liquid.

  3. Step 3

    Whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, salt, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbs range in size from peas to gum balls. Press 4 cups of oat mixture into bottom of prepared dish. Spread fruit filling on top, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top.

  4. Step 4

    Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 2007

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Reviews (19)

  • 3 Feb, 2011

    I made these and I love the flavor but the consistency is not right. They ended up being pretty much an apple crisp. I am wondering if it would be better to mix the fruit with the oatmeal mixture. They fall apart and are not bars at all. They are more like upside down apple-cherry crisp. Anyone had luck with making these work as bars?

  • 10 Jan, 2011

    If you are in Weight Watchers, they can as part of your membership
    get nutrition conversion info from your group leader. Also if anyone
    wants answers, just go to the contact us usually shown in the lower
    part of the site. Comments are apparently not monitored but they will
    reply to CONTACT US and your requests. mykele

  • 10 Jan, 2011

    I totally agree with Leighannet, it would be nice if the nutritional info was added to all the recipes. I am on Weight Watchers and rarely use MS recipes because of the lack of info.

  • 2 Sep, 2010

    I used a combination of dried apples, then a blend I had of dried cranberries, cherries

  • 2 Sep, 2010

    I used a combination of dried apples, then a blend I had of dried cranberries, cherries

  • 31 Aug, 2010

    thank you to those who comment about how the recipe TASTES and what worked/didnt work. I'm excited to try these bars in the fall. The constant complaints about lacking nutritional info are getting old, and im a dietitian!! I agree, it would be nice, but clearly nobody from MS reads these comments or cares to change the recipes to include the info.

  • 24 Feb, 2009

    I agree with Keepitsimple. I wish the nutritional values were included in the recipes.
    As a Weight Watchers member who has lost 100 pounds, i sometimes get sick of having to go to Weight watchers site and build a recipe to get the nutritional values.

  • 3 Feb, 2009

    Weight watchers who use E-tools can plug into the recipe builder all the ingredients and servings and it will calcuate points for you. This is the best way to approach any new recipe with confidence! Hope this helps.

  • 25 Jan, 2009

    I enjoy copying these recipes, but as a Weight Watcher, it would be VERY helpful to me to have the nutritional content (calories, fat content, fiber content, sugar content) printed at the end of the recipe so I would know how to incorporate the food into my diet points. Also, I think now everyone is trying to eat in healthy ways and this would be helpful to everyone. Thanks

  • 22 Jan, 2009

    Why doesn't someone form MS ever answer our questions?

  • 21 Jan, 2009

    Probably has to do with consistency. Starting with fresh fruit would create a much longer cooking time...and even then the chances of getting a 'jammy' consistency from fresh apples and fruit would be slim. Here it takes only 5 minutes to reconstitute. What's great is that you can buy small quantities of dried fruit from the co-op to cut cost.

  • 21 Jan, 2009

    I'm curious as to why this recipe uses dried fruits that are then rehydrated. Why can't you just begin with fresh fruits?

  • 20 Jan, 2009

    I doubt that I would try to serve these as cookies. I would put them in a bowl and serve them warm with ice cream or whipped topping.

  • 6 Dec, 2008

    Delicious, but so crumbly. Only about half the cookies would be suitable to put out for company. Any suggestions, because I love the flavor

  • 12 Nov, 2008

    So yummy! My grocery store didn't carry dried apples, so I substituted apricots. Next time I'm thinking dried peaches and cherries would make a delicious combination.

  • 2 Oct, 2008

    I brought these bars to a party tonight, and they were a huge hit! Everyone asked for seconds. I substituted dried cranberries (craisins) for the cherries, and added a tablespoon of fresh orange zest to the fruit/sugar mixture. Absolutely delicious. Next time, I'll double the amount of fruit called for -- I wouldn't mind having more sweet filling to go between those wonderful layers of buttery crumble.

  • 7 Feb, 2008

    This bar was an explosion of flavor! Wonderful ratio of fruit to crust/topping. I reduced the sugar in the oat mixture by 1/8 cup because I like desserts less sweet. I also used 1/2 apple cider and 1/2 cherry cider from Trader Joes Market. The apples were tinted a light red color and the flavor addition was amazing. I also added some chopped toasted pecans to the topping mixture. I love the added crunch. Try these - you'll love them!

  • 23 Jan, 2008

    Hum more than good !

  • 21 Dec, 2007

    Try this!! An absolute flavor treat.