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Pineapple Crumble Bars

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Pineapple Crumble Bars
These Pineapple Crumble Bars are one of those desserts that practically shout “SUMMER!” as you bake them. Do you enjoy pineapple? If so, you absolutely must give them a try. The bars are delicious, with a custard-like filling that is similar in consistency to a lemon bar. The filling is tender and loaded with tropical pineapple flavor. While there is some lemon juice in it alongside pineapple juice, you’re not going to taste any lemon in the finished dessert. There are also small chunks of pineapple studding the filling, adding a nice texture and a burst of additional pineapple flavor.

You can use canned pineapple juice in the filling and either fresh or canned pineapple for the fruit in these bars. If you buy crushed or chunked pineapple packed in pure juice, you can get a two-in-one! The pineapple should be cut into pieces no more than 1/2-inch in size, preferably a bit smaller. The chunks of fruit will not completely cover the bottom crust of the bars, but will be evenly distributed so that each piece has a coupled of pieces. The base and topping are made from the same mixture, an oatmeal streusel mix that packs down to become a firm base for the bars. The streusel is delicious on its own, with a nutty flavor from the oatmeal that goes well with the pineapple.

Like lemon bars, these should be refrigerated before slicing to ensure that the filling is firm and that it slices neatly. Since the pineapple pieces can be tricky to cut, I recommend simply chopping the bars into squares using a firm cut from a chefs’ knife. I also recommend lining your pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil so you can lift the bars out of the baking dish to make slicing them easier. The bars are best when they are fresh, but will keep for a couple of days after baking in the refrigerator, too.

Pineapple Crumble Bars
Crust/Topping
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups rolled oats (pref. quick cooking)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Filling
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 oz pineapple juice
1 oz lemon juice
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup finely diced pineapple chunks

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and lightly grease.
Prepare the crust/topping mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and creamy. Beat in flour mixture until everything is well-combined and dough is sandy. Set aside 1 1/4 cups of crumb mixture.
Pour remaining crumb mixture into prepared pan and press down into an even layer.
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, pineapple juice, lemon juice, eggs and salt until well-combined. Stir in pineapple chunks.
Pour filling mixture over the oatmeal base, making sure that pineapple chunks are evenly distributed over the bars.
Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the pineapple filling.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until bars are set in the center. Allow bars to cool completely, then refrigerate until cold. Slice with a sharp knife when well-chilled.

Makes 16.

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