I m so flattered to know that one of my Twitter Follower Mike tried this recipe within 2 days of me posting it and was kind enough to send me all the step by step pictures.Thank you so much Mike.I really appreciate it.
When it comes to testing recipes, in complete contrast to the restless me, I seem to have all the patience in the world.What do you have to say about a recipe that I m trying to get right since May? I can already see those eyebrows rising up It took me 4 attempts to get this recipe right – I wont say its perfect but certainly one of the best fruit bars that I have made ever.P thinks that I have lost it since the time I have started food blogging – its futile to make him understand what measurements mean in baking & why I have been crazy for two months about this recipe.You know why? Because this is the most gorgeous color I have ever seen coming out of my oven.The only flaw I see in the recipe is that it is dependent on the color of plums..luckily 3 out of 4 times I tried them, the color of the plums & their skin was way too gorgeous.Yes, those were some good looking plums
My mind starts thinking of possibilities as soon as I see fruits in the grocery store.What do I bake with? Which ones do I add in the salad? Which ones I juice? Stone fruits are the bounty of summers.For a long time I thought that the best use of fresh plums was to bake a crumble with them. Till one day while trying to making a plum jam,when I saw how beautifully the skin softens to release the crimson colors – deep and gorgeous, I decided to attempt making bars with them – on the same lines as lemon bars but with plum sauce in the filling.I could not find a plum bars recipe in the numerous google searches I did.Or I should say not the kind I was looking for which showcases the gorgeous colors of the fruit. Given the fact that I cant bake from scratch,to start with I used this recipe as a base from one of my favorite blogger – Xialou of 6 bittersweets.Her recipe was perfect..I had to try a couple of combinations of quantities of plum sauce & flour to achieve the result I was looking for. I know I m lame when it comes to baking
The first two attempts were okay..nothing great about them.The bars tasted good but were on the dry side-maybe I overbaked them.Third attempt was far better but I made the mistake of adding a layer of fresh plum slices on the top.The bars looked very pretty and shiny for a couple of hours but after that plums on top turned blackish brown and too horrible to take pictures.Finally, this Sunday I promised myself that I will attempt one last time before the next season.Mind you,I m buying fresh plums every week for the past 2 months and no matter how much I love them, right now we are sick of eating them.
Another thing I noticed during multiple attempts was that the color of the bars totally depends on how fresh & deep colored your plums are.You can see how gorgeous my lot of plums were both inside & outside.I m crazy about the classic combo of ginger & plums like many of you- in the recipe ginger gorgeously adds hint of warmth in the crust as well as the filling.Not only these bars tasted gooey & tart & gingery with hints of warm spices I added, but they have become quite a hit with my neighbours & co workers – no wonder they have got a constant supply of these for past few weeks
Below goes the recipe.See notes at the end:-
I used the recipe here as a base to start with.
For the crust:-
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick [ 8 tbsp] cold butter, cut into pieces
- 2 whole eggs [ medium size at room temperature]
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 cup +2 tbsp white granulated sugar [can be reduced to 1 cup]
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups plum puree [ recipe below]
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp of powdered sugar [ for sprinkling on top]
- 6-8 medium-sized fresh plums
- 2 ” fresh ginger shoot, grated [ about 2 tbsp]
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- Less than 1/8 tsp each of ground cinnamon & clove powder [optional]
- Line a 7 X 11 inch brownie pan/baking dish with a parchment paper.Line the paper such that it covers all the sides & bottom and is little extra on all sides so that once baked, you can lift the entire bar using the sides to cut later.
- In a food processor, tip in the flour, brown sugar, salt & ginger.Pulse 3-4 times to mix.Next, add the cold butter and pulse till the flour mix comes together & resembles loose crumbs.
- Press the mix using your fingers on the baking dish to cover all sides and form as smooth/even layer as possible.Refrigerate again for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is refrigerating,preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the refrigerated crust for 20-25 minutes until the crust barely starts to brown on sides.Remove the baked crust from oven & let cool.
- Let the oven on.
- The consistency of plum puree is of real importance.Make a thick puree in your processor/blender.If it feels runny or watery, cook the puree a little more.
- The flaw of the recipe is that the color of bars depends on color of your plums.I got a different shade each time I tried. Also if you have a big lot, half them and use the ones which are pretty in color inside.
- Since every oven is different, the time of baking may vary from appliance to appliance.Adjust as per your oven.