This happens when you have a surreal number of nectarines in your fridge, as a result of a very productive tree in your garden. There is a certain number of fruit one can eat plain, over yogurt with honey, mixed with oats or even in a salad. So, I had to make bars. Totally inevitable.
The best thing about these buttery squares is that you don’t need to roll the dough. Which makes the preparation easy and less time consuming. You just throw all ingredients in a food processor, whizz to a crumbly dough and then press everything in a baking pan. It works!
You can replace the fruit filling with peaches or apples. I quite like the nectarines because, a. no need for peeling and, b. no need for peeling. Their skin is soft and cooks beautifully, leaving only a streak of red colour. Enjoy these gorgeous, delicious bars with a generous serving of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.
For the base:
- 60 grams granulated sugar
- 60 grams soft brown sugar
- 80 grams unsalted, roasted almonds
- ½ tsp salt
- 320 grams all-purpose flour
- 250 grams unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the filling:
- 1200 grams nectarine slices (measured unpeeled)
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 75 grams brown sugar
- 60 grams granulated sugar]25 grams unsalted butter
- 3 tsp corn flour
- 1 Tbs water
For the topping:
- 120 grams unsalted, roasted almonds
- 100 grams all-purpose flour
- 75 grams soft brown sugar
- 80 grams unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 200 C fan. Line the base and sides of a 23 x 33 cm baking pan with greaseproof paper leaving an overhang on both sides.
Make the base: Put sugars, almonds and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the flour and pulse until mixed. Add the butter (cold) and vanilla. Pulse a few times until dough comes together but doesn’t form a ball. It will be crumbly.
Transfer crumbly mixture into prepared pan (don’t wash the processor bowl, you will use it for the topping).
Press down with your hands to form a base, going up the sides of the pan slightly (about a centimeter). Transfer pan in the preheated oven and bake base for 15-18 minutes until it begins to colour. Remove base from the oven and reduce temperature to 180 C. The base will be half cooked at this stage.
Make the filling: Put nectarine slices, lemon juice, sugars and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Mix corn flour with water to create a slurry. Add it to the skillet. Simmer until juices have thickened slightly and nectarines are soft but still have a bite. Remove from heat.
Make the streusel topping: In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the almonds, flour and sugar. Pulse until almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the butter and pulse just until mixture comes together but doesn’t form a ball. It will be crumbly.
Assemble the nectarine bars: Spread the nectarines over the half cooked base, leaving a small (1 cm) border.
Top with the streusel topping. Transfer in the oven (180 C fan) and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let it cool in pan for 45-60 minutes. Remove from pan by lifting the greaseproof paper hanging from the sides. Slice in squares and serve plain, with vanilla ice cream, or vanilla whipped cream.