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Summer is a nonstop parade of fresh fruit. Wait a week and a new fruit is coming into season and at its peak flavor. Sure, you can buy most fruits throughout the year, but not peaches.
Peaches are one of those fruits that is just perfect come late July and August. Stands of freshly picked fruit line farmer’s markets and the flavor is exactly what I’m craving.
I love to make crisps, pies, tarts, and jams. But I’m also always looking for something new. This peach crumb bar is exactly that: a combination of the crumble-like shortbread crust and topping, with a delicious peach center. What could be better?
How does this dough work as a crust and crumble?
You’ll notice that this recipe makes just one dough but it’s used in two ways. Half of the mixture is pressed into the pan and topped with jam and peaches. The rest of the dough is crumbled on top to form a perfectly craggy topping. This dough has a higher ratio of butter, resulting in a slightly drier shortbread-like texture, making it sturdy enough to create a crust. When left unpressed, it’s just crumbly enough for a perfect topping.
How do you know when peaches are ripe?
Any recipe is best with ripe, in-season fruit. But it can be hard to find perfectly ripe fruit if you aren’t accustomed to purchasing peaches regularly. Peaches should have a distinct aroma of a peach when ripe and also be slightly soft when touched.
You’ll almost always buy peaches in an under-ripe state. But left for a few days on the counter at room temperature and they will quickly ripen. If the peaches aren’t perfectly ripe, don’t worry. The jam in this recipe intensifies the flavor and the baking softens them just enough to fool anyone.
Watch how to make these peach crumb bars
Peach Crumb Bars
- 16 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- 2 large ripe peaches
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing between each addition until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix. The dough may look curdled but that is normal.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined and no dry streaks remain, 1-2 minutes.
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with a parchment sling and butter the sides. Add half of the dough to the prepared pan and press evenly to create the bottom crust.
- Spread jam on the bottom crust. Line the sliced peaches over the preserves. This usually takes three rows, and as long as the peaches are even, overlap peaches if necessary. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Top with the remaining dough by breaking it into small pieces evenly over the peaches.
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35-45 minutes. If the top seems to be getting too brown, cover with foil. The bars will become puffed and golden on the top and the edges should have a little bubbling from the preserves.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting, at least 4 hours. If not, they will not cut well. Remove parchment sling and cut into squares.