Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Strawberry and Cream Bars

These lick-your-plate delicious strawberry and cream bars are the perfect summer treat
Sunshine-sweet strawberries are essential for the summer. Especially when they taste as good as right now. 
And when mixed with a luscious whipped custard cream, and surrounded by two layers of crunchy oat crumble, you know you are in for an irresistible treat!

Make sure to check out my recipe below to see how easy it is to turn few simple ingredients into this magical dessert. 
All you need are the basic custard cream ingredients - eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and corn starch. If you prefer, you can substitute the corn starch with all-purpose flour, for a similar thickening effect.
You will need your favorite crumble dough, baked into one square layer (for the bottom of the bars) and crumbly pieces for the top. 
How can you say no to something that looks this good?!? 
Once assembled, this dessert needs to be store in the freezer or refrigerator. If you freeze it until it hardens, you will get perfectly clean cut little squares. I strongly suggest to let the bars sit out at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before serving for a creamy and soft result. 

Enjoy :)


This recipe first appeared on Cooking with Manuela in June 2017.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. YIELD: 8x8 in (20x20 cm) dessert cut into 16 small or 9 larger bars

  2. For the dough:
    • 4 oz (115 gr) of unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 ½ cups (225 gr) of all-purpose flour 
    • 1 cup (90 gr) of old fashion, rolled oats
    • ½ cup (100 gr) of sugar
    • 1/4 cup (50 gr) of brown sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 egg

    For the filling:
    • 8 fl oz (240 ml) of milk
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1/3 cup (65 gr) of sugar
    • 2 tablespoons (20 gr) of corn starch
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • 1 cup (235 ml) of whipping cream
    • 8 oz (225 gr) of fresh strawberries

PREPARATION:

TIME: 45 minutes to prepare, plus at least 2 hours to chill.
Start by making the patisserie cream.
In a small pan (or cup if using the microwave), warm up the milk until hot (but not boiling).
In another medium size pan, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth and fluffy.
Whisk in the corn starch and vanilla extract, making sure there are no lumps. 
Add a little bit of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking well so that no lumps form. Whisk in the rest of the milk.

Place the pan over medium heat and stir continuously until it reaches a slow boil. The cream will thicken, so be careful not to let it stick to the bottom. Lower the flame and cook for a couple of more minutes, until you reach the desire thickness.
Pour the cream in a glass bowl and let it cool down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Let's make the crumble crust:
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Melt the butter in double boiler, or in the microwave for about 40 or 50 seconds. I set the microwave for 30 seconds, check and check every other 10 seconds. Let it cool down.

In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, regular and brown sugars and salt.
  Add the melted butter and the egg.
Mix until combined. You will get a coarse, crumbly mixture.
Move half of the dough to an 8x8 (20x20 cm) pan, covered with parchment paper.
Press the dough to the bottom of the pan, with the back of your spoon (or your hands).
Sprinkle the rest of the dough in crumble pieces (break with your finger if necessary) on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 375° F (190° C) for 10 minutes the top, and about 15-20 minutes for the bottom, until golden.
Break down the crumble for the top in small pieces if they stuck together when baking.
Let it cool down.
Assemble the dessert:
Whip the whipping cream
and fold into the custard cream when cold.
Wash and dry the strawberries, cut in slices and mix in the cream.
Spoon the cream on top of the crumble bottom. Level with a spoon.
Make sure the parchment paper comes up the sides of the pan (or add plastic wrap) so it will be easy to remove the dessert from the pan.
Top with the remaining crumble. 
Refrigerate, or freeze if you'd like,  for at least a few hours or overnight.
When hard, cut into 16 squares (or 9 for larger serving size).
Serving suggestion: freeze until hard, cut into bars and let it soften at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before serving to soften.


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