You know, sometimes you just want something buttery, and sweet, and fruity, that's not a cookie or a piece of cake. Although I'm not opposed to either (pie counts too), today I didn't want either of those.
I'm big on texture and flavor. Things I eat and cook must have texture in some form or another, and of course, be loaded with flavor. These raspberry-pistachio bars of mine definitely have that.
Not too sweet, with the sharpness and flavor from fresh raspberries (yes you may use frozen also), flanked out with the crumbly shortbread and oat pastry and of course the roasted pistachio. Yes, you can use blackberry or mulberry, or any berry you want to try. Play around with this recipe using the fruit, omitting the nuts, or even switching up those nuts. Almonds and cherries are always good together. Mixed berries wicked be fun too!
Raspberry-Pistachio Bars make 12 -15 pieces depending on pan size (but I'll let you figure that out on your own)
For the Raspberry Filling:
12 ounces fresh raspberries (you may use frozen/thawed as well)
1 cup golden Agave Nectar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
The juice of 1 large lemon
In a bowl, add the fresh raspberries; You may also use blackberries. Sprinkle in the flour and cornstarch then toss them with the berries. Add the agave nectar and lemon juice and fold in with the covered berries. It's okay if the berries break apart because you're going to cook them anyway.
Place the berry mixture into a large sauce pot and begin to heat. As the berries cook, they release more juice and start to break down. Cook the mixture until you have a semi-thick jam and remove from the heat. At this point, I strained the jam to make this "seedless," but you do what you like. Just return the strained jam back to a bowl and set aside.
For The Shortbread Crumble:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups brown sugar (loosely packed )
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup roasted salted shelled pistachio, lightly crushed
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using a 9x13 pan, and actually, the pan I used was smaller so made thicker bars. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. I say "sides" because it was easy to pull the bars out to cut.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Toss to mix evenly and to break up the brown sugar lumps. Pour in your melted unsalted butter and with a wooden spoon work into a sweet crumbly dough.
In your prepared baking pan add a little over half of the mixture to the pan and press. Be sure to press evenly, so you have a right level base. I used the underside of a 1 cup measure to ensure a beautifully smooth, even surface. Place the pan in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove once cooked.
On your hot pre-baked crumble, add half of the raspberry jam, and smooth out evenly. Next, sprinkle on the crushed roasted pistachio making sure you have a nice even layer. Finish off with the remaining jam, again making sure the coverage is even and smooth.
Add the remaining crumb on top of the raspberry-pistachio layer, and smooth out evenly. Place the pan back into the oven and bake an additional 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the crumble bars from the oven and allow them to cool and set up. 1 hour or more is excellent, and overnight is better.
Pull the crumble out of the pan and cut evenly into "two-bite" sized bars. You may sprinkle with powdered sugar (perfect if making for the winter holidays) or leave them as is. Enjoy!