With so much fresh fruit available in the summer I can't help but use them in my baking. Especially when I buy a bunch of peaches, with the expectation that a certain two-and-three-quarters-year-old little girl and I will devour them, only to find out that this little girl wants nothing to do with them.
And not wanting to risk fresh peaches going bad, I sought an alternate route and was directed (by my sister) to this recipe. Thankfully I was attending a birthday party that night so I was able to share in the wealth of this dessert because it makes a ton.
Peach and Pluot Shortbread bars
Recipe slightly adapted from here
Serves 24 2½” squares
- I had a pluot lying around so I thought I’d add it into the mix and I’m so glad I did. Originally the recipe called for 2 peaches and that didn’t seem like enough fruit, and 3 fruits was still spreading it thin. Overall, I like a more even ratio of fruit to crust and I think 4 peaches (or mixed in other stone fruit) would be wonderful here (although if you’re using all plums or pluots, since they’re on the smaller side, I’d err on the side of caution and put in 5-6).
- I think it’s easiest to make the crust in a food processor. If that’s not available to you, then you can use a medium-sized bowl and a pastry blender (or fork) to mix the cold butter into the flour mixture.
- I tweaked the recipe by replacing one cup of all-purpose flour for a cup of whole-wheat flour, so then I added a ½ teaspoon more of baking powder. I also added the almonds for a little crunch, but that’s a personal thing.
1 Cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole-wheat flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 Cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg
3 ripe peaches and 1 pluot, pitted and sliced thin (see Recipe Note above)
½ Cup sliced almonds (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter a 9×13 inch pan (or use parchment paper so that you can lift the bars out cleanly).
2. In a large food processor (see recipe notes above), place the sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices. Add the diced butter and pulse a few times to mix until crumbly. Then add the egg and pulse until the mixture starts to resemble wet sand.
3. Pat ¾ of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Lay the thinly sliced fruit over the crust, keeping the fruit going in all the same direction.
4. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs and almonds over the fruit. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is slightly brown and there’s a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares (these should keep in the fridge for a couple days).