Once in a while, along comes a recipe that is so good it becomes a favorite. Old-World Raspberry Bars is one of those recipes. This recipe has been a part of the Land O’Lakes recipe files for over 30 years. It is one of those “most requested” recipes that our Consumer Affairs respondents know immediately – even if the caller can’t remember the name. All the caller has to do is start describing the bar and they know exactly what recipe to provide. I made it recently for a friend who emailed me the very next day asking for the recipe. This is a typical response, once you try these delicious bars, you want more!
Old-World Raspberry Bars is also a versatile recipe. I have made them for many different occasions and at many different times of the year. These bars make a great gift and, served with a dish of ice cream, they do a fine job as a dessert. If raspberries aren’t your first choice, no problem, just substitute your preferred flavor of preserves. If you prefer walnuts over pecans, that’s just fine, use them instead. The bars are quick to mix up, only have 6 ingredients and freeze well. So, have I convinced you to give them a try?
The first step is to make a crumb mixture that will become both the crust and the topping for the bars. Heat the oven to 350°F. Combine all the crumb mixture ingredients (flour, sugar, pecans, butter and egg) in a large bowl.
Beat at low speed, scraping the bowl often, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. It will not look like a dough, so don’t think you have done something wrong. Here’s what the mixture will look like:
Remove 2 cups of the mixture and set aside. This will be used for the topping.
Press the remaining crumbs on the bottom of a greased 8-inch square baking pan. As you press, the crumbs will hold together and form the crust.
Spread the raspberry (or whatever flavor you choose) preserves to within ½-inch of the edge of the crust. Don’t worry if they flow a little closer to the edge like mine did.
If you are wondering what the difference is between preserves and jam I did a little research to find out. Preserves have the fruit left in medium to large chunks while jam is made from pureed fruit. I decided that it really doesn’t matter which you use, especially with raspberries since they pretty much get smashed up in both. Back to the recipe, take the 2 cups of mixture you reserved and crumble it over the preserves. It works best to use your fingers to do the crumbling. (Crumbling is kind of a funny word, but you know what I mean.)
Once the topping is crumbled over the preserves your bars should look like this and are ready to go into the oven:
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top crumbles are lightly browned. As this was baking in the Test Kitchens everyone commented on the wonderful aroma.
Let cool completely and then cut into bars. Here is a close-up of my bars. Because it’s a close-up photo they look pretty large. The bars are actually cut into fairly small squares (about 1 ½ x 1 ½ inches). I love how these bars have layers.
So, are Old-World Raspberry Bars now one of your favorites? Let me know by rating and reviewing the recipe. I’d enjoy hearing about any variations you tried too, so please leave a comment.
Come back in a few days when Liz will be sharing a breakfast recipe perfect for overnight guests.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.