Bake

Apricot-Oat Crumb Bars

May 15, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

My favorite feature of these fruity dream squares: the buttery, shortbread-y crust requires no electric mixer, meaning it’s totally ok that you (and I am talking to myself here) have just not bitten the bullet and bought one yet. My least favorite feature: the jam gets hot as HECK when you bake it, so you have to actually wait until they’re cool to enjoy them. It’s torturous, but worth it. —Kendra Vaculin

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 16 bars
Ingredients
  • For the crust and filling
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces apricot jam or preserves
  • 5 small fresh apricots
  • For the topping
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated suagr
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt, like Maldon
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. For the crust, mix flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix, using clean hands. Mush the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it comes together in a crumbly batter. Dump this into the lined dish and press into an even layer, corner to corner.
  3. Pop the dish and the crust into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. While the crust is in the freezer, peel your apricots. Use your secret family method if you have one. If you don't: Bring a pot of water to a boil and cut a small X into the bottom of each fruit. Dunk the apricots into the boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. The skin should peel off easily starting from the X. Slice the apricot flesh into small wedges (you’ll have about 1 full cup) and set aside.
  5. Assemble the topping by dumping all ingredients EXCEPT the salt into a bowl and mushing it together with a fork or your fingers.
  6. Remove the dish with the crust from freezer and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before coating with the jam/preserves, followed by the fresh slices, spaced to cover. Top that with the oat-y crumble topping. Return to the oven for 25 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle flaky sea salt over the top of the bars. Don’t skip this! That hit of salt cuts through the fruity sweetness in a killer way. Allow to cool completely before cutting so that the jam and fruit can set.
  8. If you, like me, are a disciple of the super cold cookie, you will find these spectacular straight from the freezer.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Linda Ranger
    Linda Ranger
  • Ceicei Luk
    Ceicei Luk
  • Julie
    Julie
  • mtrelaun
    mtrelaun
  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.

17 Reviews

Linda R. August 24, 2020
I just had to make these. I have a full basket of peaches and of course, they all became ripe at the same time. I used them instead of apricots. I didn’t have preserves, so I made a quick one with some of the peaches, using less sugar than what preserves call for.
Please, use the full amount of butter! They taste like heaven. Just have a smaller piece.
 
Lusty D. August 23, 2020
Could not get apricots, do you think peaches would work? Also seems like a lot of butter for bottom crust..
 
Ceicei L. August 23, 2020
Hello. Will this work if I reduce the amount of butter? Thanks!
 
Julie June 13, 2020
Would this work with regular oats if I don't have quick cooking?
 
mtrelaun July 18, 2019
I’ve made these as instructed (excellent,) then have gone off-piste several times using different jams (cassis was a hit as was strawberry rhubarb.) I’ve even skipped the fresh fruit step for simplicity’s sake and the bars are still great. Easy to whip together, too!
 
Chef D. November 14, 2015
yes please!
 
Andi June 26, 2015
I made these a few days ago and they were fantastic. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
 
T-Bone6 June 19, 2015
Do you really have to peel the apricots?
 
Dawn K. June 15, 2015
Maybe it was the glass of wine I had before baking, or the fact that my eager 12 year-old was helping, but I got confused by the instructions that indicated, "dump all the rest of the ingredients together." I think it is simple enough to indicate, "except the apricots and apricot preserves," or just avoid saying "all the rest" altogether. ;)

Nonetheless, these are in the oven now and eagerly awaited!
 
KathieProctor June 15, 2015
I will definitely try this recipe as written. Just wanted to add, one of my favorite pies of all time is an apricot pie. Just use your peach pie recipe, but substitute apricots! A shout out to my relatives in Winters, Texas who used apricots from their own trees to make pie!
 
WildRiceLLC June 8, 2015
I just want to add, I used Earth Balance vegan butter to make these vegan.
 
WildRiceLLC June 8, 2015
These are very good and easy to make. I used fresh apricots; however, they were very tart. In retrospect, I should have tasted them and perhaps tossed them in a small bit of sugar to take away the tartness. The crust and crumble on top were delicious though. I didn't have Maldon salt but used a small amount of Fleur de sal and it did the trick.
 
Michelle D. June 2, 2015
Simple & delicious. I'm sure the recipe is great as written, but I made a few changes: no fresh apricots, so I increased the jam a bit and added lemon juice to brighten it up, and added chopped slivered almonds and cardamom to the topping.
 
Theresa B. May 23, 2015
I just made these. Seemed pretty easy. Waiting for them to cool - they smell delicious!
 
Dina M. May 22, 2015
salt after they come out of the oven?
 
Lusty D. May 20, 2015
Looks delicious... Love buttery, crumbled bars... A must make for sure.
 
Pegeen May 18, 2015
This sounds awesome. I love tart/sweet new apricots in the spring. I might even go so far as to spinkle some lemon juice over the jam before the fresh apricots get layered on. Thanks for a nice recipe!