It’s that time of year where most of the plants in our garden are starting to wind down on their production. Green beans are almost done, cucumbers are on their way out and the eggplant has seen better days. One thing that is showing no signs of slowing down are the raspberries. The raspberry bushes are super producers! We planted them last year, and we honestly weren’t expecting fruit for another year or two. The berries are super sweet, and most of the time we pick them and they get eaten right away. I managed to pick (and not eat) my most recent harvest, and knew I had to make something with them. Don’t have raspberries in your backyard? No prob. Just make sure you buy the sweetest raspberries you can find. These bars can be made with any fruit you like. I’ve made them with fresh Colorado pie cherries, and they were amazing.
Vegan Raspberry Crumb Bars
Cookie crust layer
1 c flour
3/4 c almonds
1/3 c sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 c Earth Balance Buttery Spread, cut into small chunks.
3 c fresh raspberries
1/4 to 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
6 tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 in square pan.
To make the cookie crust layer, add the flour, sugar, almonds and salt to your food processor. Pulse until the almonds are finely ground and incorporated with the flour and sugar. Add the chunks of Earth Balance and pulse a few more times until the Earth Balance is fully incorporated. Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down firmly to create an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes. The crust will start to turn golden brown. While the crust is baking, you have time to prepare the other two layers.
To make the raspberry filling, clean out the food processor, then add the raspberries, 1/4 c of sugar and the almond extract to the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times until all the raspberries are smooth. Taste the filling and add more sugar if you want. Because the crust and the crumb topping are sweet, you don’t want the raspberry filling to be too sweet. Add the cornstarch and pulse a few more times until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
To make the crumb topping, mix the flour, white and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add the melted Earth Balance and mix until the Earth Balance is fully incorporated.
Once the crust is done remove from the oven and pour the raspberry mixture on top of the crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the raspberry filling. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees, then turn the oven to 375 and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the crumb topping turns golden brown. Let the bars cool completely before you cut them into squares.