In the meantime, to calm us down (yes, I was hyperventilating there briefly) we return to comfort food. Food from our past that we associate with happy memories. Raspberry bars. This is a recipe that comes to us from a great friend from our days in Baltimore (hi, Cara!). I confess, I sometimes begged for these bars in a manner that was quite undignified. And in a time of stress, nothing is as calming as familiarity.
2½ C unbleached all-purpose flour
⅔ C granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
16 tbsp (2 sticks) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces and softened to room temperature
¼ C packed brown sugar
½ C old-fashioned rolled oats
½ C pecans, chopped fine
¾ C raspberry preserves
¾ C fresh raspberries
1 tbsp juice from 1 lemon
Line a 9" x 16" pan with foil, and grease up the foil with butter. Preheat your oven to 375°F. If it's 95°F outside, wait until the last minute to preheat the oven. Really.
Chop the warmed butter into 1 tbsp chunks.
One tablespoon at a time, mix 2 sticks of butter with the flour, sugar and salt. I used the old school egg beater, and while it was a teeny bit messy, it was pretty fun to work with.
Mix the buttered up flour goop until it is moist all over. Save 1¼ cups of the moist goop. With the remaining goop, press it into the greased pan until it makes a nice even layer of goop.
Bake this in the oven 15 to 18 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. While it's baking, go on to the next step.
Mix the raspberry preserves, the raspberries and the lemon juice.
Mix just enough to mash the raspberries a tiny bit, but not so much so it's a homegenous goo. You want some chunk to this.
Meanwhile, mix the 1¼ cups of crust with the rolled oats, brown sugar and finely chopped pecans.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter, and combine into a lovely streusel.
When the crust is cooked, remove from the oven and immediately smear on the raspberry goop in an even(ish) layer. It can't be totally even, as you left big raspberry chunks in it. Be gentle, the crust can be torn. When done, sprinkle on a layer of the oat streusel you created.
Bake in the oven 20-25 minutes, or until the raspberry goop is bubbling up through the streusel, and the streusel has taken on a nice golden brown consistency. To speed things along, I fired up the broiler for the last 3 minutes to add colour to the streusel.
Remove from the oven. Let cool 2 hours. Remove the foil from the pan, and slice into individual servings.
Serve, by itself or with ice cream. AAAAaaaaaa...
By Bbq Dude