Good afternoon everyone!! I hope that your St. Patrick’s Day was filled with lots of green, clovers, and hopefully not too many green treats, because to be honest, those kind of scare me. Mine was pretty uneventful, but this coming weekend is going to be filled with lots of news. In the next few weeks, I’m going to be receiving all of my college notifications, which is a little bit stressful to say the least. But, the only thing that I can do at this point is wait, and to help you wait too, I made you something that isn’t green!
My last ever state gymnastics meet is this coming weekend. I’m still having a hard time thinking about that, but I knew that this day would come eventually. I’ve been at my gym for 7 years, and it’s sad to think that this is the last time that I’ll be able to wear my leotard and warmups. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to a sport that I’ve spent so much of my life participating in, but I’m hoping that wherever I go I will be able to compete on a club team or even train at a gym recreationally.
I always seem to end up with tons of apples at my house. I love to eat them as a healthy after school or gymnastics snack, but there are some weeks where there seems to be an endless supply of apples in our kitchen. I’ve made so many apple desserts that are just so similar, and I wanted something a little different. These crumb bars are a mixture of a buttery shortbread crust, cinnamony apples, and a slightly tart layer of all natural blackberry preserves. While you can use whatever you would like, I love the mixture between these 2 and would highly recommend it.
Apple Blackberry Crumble Bars- From Annie’s Eats
For the base:
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
- 4 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and coarsely diced
- 5 tbsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ cup fruit jam (I used peach)
For the topping:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour 3 tbsp. sugar
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- To prepare the filling, in a large skillet combine the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until apples are tender but still firm. In a small cup, whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice. Add to the apple mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8” baking dish with foil, leaving overhang on both sides for easy removal later. Grease foil.
- To make the base, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Mix well. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, two forks or your hands, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven. Spread the fruit jam evenly on the base while it is still hot. Top with the cooked apple mixture.
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the topping. Mix well until combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Using the foil, lift out of pan. Cut into squares and serve. (If desired, refrigerate before cutting to firm up a bit for easier slicing.)