I’m squeezing every last delicious drop out of blood orange season with these Blood Orange Crumble Bars ~ the sweet tart filling is layered into a buttery shortbread crumble dough and what comes out of the oven is nothing short of awesome.
I love my crumble bar collection ~ it’s constantly expanding. The basic recipe is tried and true, and I guarantee it won’t let you down. I may have made a lot of them, but every single recipe that I’ve developed around this shortbread crumble dough has been unique and wonderful in its own way. Sometimes I vary the dough itself by changing up the type of flour, or by adding oats, spices, or sometimes nuts. Other times, I’ll change out the filling. This one gets its special personality from my fabulous Blood Orange Jam. If you make up a batch of the jam now, you can freeze it and enjoy these bars any time you like.
The flavor of blood oranges is almost indescribable…it’s like a delicate combination of tangerine and raspberry, with a hint of floral.
That wonderful flavor is intensified when the fruit is cooked down into a jam, and it makes these bars really zingy. If you can’t make or find blood orange jam, you can often find blood orange marmalade, which would be a good substitute. If you’ve got tangerines or clementines you can make a wonderful jam with those, too, see my recipe for Clementine Jam.
The beauty of this basic crumble shortbread bar recipe is that the same dough is used for the bottom AND top crust. Easy peasy.
The combination of vanilla and citrus in these Blood Orange Crumble Bars is really delicious ~ I hope you give them a try!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup Blood Orange Jam, recipe HERE
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, the seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- milk or cream to thin
- Set oven to 350F Lightly spray and line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper with long ends so that you can lift the cooled bars out for easier cutting. This is optional.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined and fluffy.
- Blend in the salt and vanilla. Add the flour gradually and mix until just combined. There should be no more dry flour left, but the mixture will be crumbly.
- Take approximately 2/3 of the dough and pat it into the bottom of the pan. I like to drop crumbles of the dough all over the bottom to distribute it before I start patting it down, this helps get the bottom covered evenly.
- Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Using your fingertips, crumble the remaining dough over the jam.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bars are just starting to turn golden.
- If you are glazing the bars, let them cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, whisk the sugar and vanilla with enough milk or cream to get a glaze consistency. Drizzle liberally over the cooled bars.
- Normally I love my bars with a glaze of some sort, but with these I found I preferred them without.
- Store these bars at room temperature covered loosely in foil. Plastic wrap will make them damp.
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