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CCFB News» July 2024

Recipe of the MonthBest Cherry Bars

07/01/2024 @ 11:00 am


Cherry Filling: 

  • 1 lb cherries (2 c fresh picked pie cherries)
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 2 T corn starch
  • ½ c water
  • 1 t lemon juice


Crumble Mixture: 

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c butter (1 1/2 sticks)unsalted, chilled
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 2 T milk
  • 2 t vanilla
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ t spice powder (can be pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, clove, ginger mixture)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use 8 x 8 square cake pan or 7 x 9 rectangle pan with parchment paper and make sure have excess at edges so can lift out of pan.



Cherry Filling:

1.  Place cherries in a saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice and half the water (1/4 cup). Heat on low to medium until sugar is dissolved. Pro-tip: Let mixture boil on low for 3-5 minutes until cherries soften and release some of the juices. 2. In a separate bowl combine the remaining water with the cornstarch. Combine well so cornstarch does not settle on the bottom. 3.  Add the cornstarch water to the cherries.  Continue to cook on low-the mixture will thicken and look glossy.  When thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon or spatula it's ready. 4. Cool completely. Cooking will thicken the filling some more. Set aside.


Cherry Crumble Mix:

1. In a food processor add flour, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, spice mix, and cold cubed butter.  Pulse a few times until crumbly.  Not too much. Pro-tip.  We want a crumble with some small pieces and some large pies of butter.  These will give us a good texture and mouthfeel. 2. Pour the crumble into 2 separate bowls-one for the base and one for the top.  Pro-tip  Use a little extra for the base and less for the topping.  This gives a bit more structure to the base so the squares will hold better. 3. Top crumble-keep the bowl for crumble topping in the fridge to stay cold. Pro-tip  The butter in the crumble must be chilled well when added on top, otherwise.  It will melt instead of bake like a crumble. 4. Base crumble-Add the 2T of milk to the crumble for the base and combine well. Then pour the mixture into the baking pan. Use the back of a spoon to press it down firmly. Pro-tip  The milk makes sure the base is pressed firmly and does not crumble when cutting the squares so don't omit this. 5. Bake the base 10 minutes until lightly golden but not cooked through. Cool for 5 minutes. Pro-tip: Want the base to be partially cooked, so it is firm as a base. This way it won't soak up the filling juices and crumble apart. 6.  Pour filling over the base and spread evenly. Generously sprinkle the crumbled top mixture all over the filling (saved in the fridge). Use fingers but a spoon works well too. Pro-tip-The top does not have to be even.  In fact, the more uneven it is the better the baked crumble topping. 7. Continue to bake in the oven for another 35-45minutes until lightly golden. When done cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. If left in the pan too long they may get stuck. Then just take a knife and run through the edges.  8.  Cut into 16-18 squares. Get about 16 squares from the square pan and about 18 squares from the rectangle pan. Pro-tip: The top is quite crumbly so do the best you can when cutting. A sharp long knife does a better job than a short blade.  

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