Plum Ginger Bars
Every summer I am certain to make one pie---a plum pie with hints of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. I have been waiting all summer to make it but a pie is too messy for Jazz on the Green, picnic at the park, or a tailgate party. A bar beats a pie for those events, so I thought to myself, “Self, how can I pack those same irresistible flavors in an easy to eat, easy to carry bar?” Here’s what I came up with—Plum Ginger Bars.
Shortbread cookie crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick [8 tablespoons] cold butter, cut into pieces
- 2 whole eggs [medium size at room temperature]
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons 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 tablespoon of powdered sugar [ for sprinkling on top]
- Optional: Once cooked
Plum Puree - yields little more than 2 cups
- 6-8 medium-sized fresh plums
- 2” fresh ginger shoot, peeled and grated [about 2 tablespoons]
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- Less than 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon & clove powder [optional]
Making the crust
- Line a 9x 9 brownie pan or a 7x11 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 make a parchment sling so you can lift the entire bar using the extra length of the parchment. This allows you to cut easily, the bars 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 the sides. Remove the baked crust from oven & let cool.
- Leave the oven on to bake the assembled bars.
Making the Plum Puree [while the crust is cooling/baking]
- Wash the Plums and cut them into halves.
- Discard the stone inside and chop them skin-on into small cubes.
- In a saucepan, add the chopped plums, ginger, sugar & ground spices [if using] and cook over low heat till the sugar dissolves and the plums become mushy (about 10-15 minutes).
- Cooking on low heat is important here to let the skin soften & release its natural crimson color. Once they are mushy, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Once cooled, blend in a food processor or using a hand blender to a smooth sauce. Take care that the consistency of the puree should not be too runny, it should be similar to applesauce.
Making the filling
- Sift flour and salt together. Set aside.
- In a big bowl, add the eggs and sugar. Beat lightly until mixed.
- Next add the lime juice & mix. Add the flour mix next and combine well.
- Do no beat but make sure that everything is combines well. (Note; if you want the filling to be redder then adjust the color with a few drops of red food coloring until you find the color your wish. btw, with the rest of the red food coloring we can make some Red Velvet Brownies later in the Jazz on the Green Dessert Series.)
Making the bar
- Pour the filling on top of the cooled-baked crust and tap the dish once to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until just set. You will see that the edges start to turn brown. As the baking progresses, the color of will deepen more and more. Note:- The baking time is governed by how wet your filling is. You can see in pictures the consistency of my filling and I have noted the time accordingly
- Once baked, remove from oven and let cool in the dish for 15 minutes.
- Thereafter, lift the bar mould out of the baking dish using the sides of the parchment paper sling. Let cool completely for about 3-4 hours before slicing using a knife dipped in warm water after each cut.
Also try this delicous plum cake recipe.