There’s just something about summer time that makes me think… PIE. And with the Fourth of July around the corner, pie is particularly on my mind. I’m sure the fact that my favorite pies are of the berry variety also has a good deal to do with it. More than any other fruit, I love the way that raspberries, blueberries, and cherries lend themselves to pie dough.
What I don’t love is the process of making pie, particularly the crust. I have come across some fantastic pie crust recipes, in particular Bravetart’s Old Fashioned Pie Dough, this one from America’s Test Kitchen that uses vodka of all things, and I love this All Buttah Pie Dough from Erin McDowell. But even when the crust comes out as light and flaky as I could have dreamed, I just don’t enjoy it all that much.
This means that I often reach for other types of crusts and crumbles often made of oats, nuts, crushed cookies and am often playing around with formats. This brings me to the berry crumble/pie bars you’ve come here for.
These bars are tart, rich tasting, and just sweet enough with a crumbly topping and crust sandwiching an easy jammy berry filling. These would be perfect for a picnic, potluck, casual summer backyard get-together. They are closer in texture to a piece of pie than a granola bar, so serve them plated with a fork as you would most desserts (but I won’t say I haven’t eaten one with my fingers cold right out of the fridge… it was worth it). They are great served at room temperature, and freeze exceptionally well too so making them ahead is not only achievable but preferable. If you’re having trouble cutting them, make sure they are cool enough. I often pop any bars I make in the freezer for a bit before cutting to make it simple and clean.
I also love to eat leftovers, warmed briefly in a skillet or oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
A note: frozen berries are absolutely perfect for this recipe. You don’t have to miss out because you don’t have fresh berries on hand or they’re expensive in your area. Everyone needs (and can have) these bars!
Add these into your summer rotation for Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day or just a plain old Wednesday. These bars make it acceptable to eat pie at any time of day or night, which is really a cause for celebration on its own.
Watch Me Make My Mixed Berry Crumble Bars
How To Make My Mixed Berry Crumble Bars
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Line all sides of an 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt with a fork. Pour in the melted butter and mix with the fork to combine. It should look and feel like wet sand.
Step 3. Press about ¾ of the mix into the bottom of the baking pan. Place the remaining ¼ of crumble in the refrigerator and bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.
Step 4. While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the thawed berries with the coconut sugar. Give the berries a rough mash with a fork to break them up.
Step 5. Mix in the cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
Step 6. Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and smooth it evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula. Top with the remaining ¼ of the crumble and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden and lightly bubbling.
Step 7. Cool the bars briefly at room temperature then transfer to the fridge until ready to serve. Lift from the baking pan and slice.
Step 8. Enjoy!
What Else Can I Use?
- All purpose flour can be subbed in for the gluten-free flour.
- Brown sugar or even granulated sugar can be subbed in for the coconut sugar. If you use granulated, the bars will be lighter in color.
- You can use frozen or fresh berries in this recipe, as indicated.
- Feel free to double this recipe to feed a large crowd and bake for a bit longer, maybe 5-10 minutes is my estimation.
- Blueberries and blackberries can also be used in the filling, I usually use whatever berries I have on hand.
My Mixed Berry Crumble Bars are special because:
They’re a delicious spin on a crumble/pie that’s perfect for the Fourth of July
You can use frozen berries, so you can pull this recipe out any time of year!
You can use whatever berries your heart desires – I love blueberries and raspberries but you do you!
More Bar Recipes:
If you make my Mixed Berry Crumble Bars, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!
Mixed Berry Crumble Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)
Crumble Base + Topping:
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
- ¼ cup blanched almond flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats certified gluten-free if you are gluten-free
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted (regular or plant-based)
Mixed Berry Filling:
- 2 cups mixed berries (I use strawberries and raspberries here) thawed and drained if frozen
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Zest and juice from one lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the crumble base and topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Line all sides of an 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt with a fork.
- Pour in the melted butter and mix with the fork to combine. It should look and feel like wet sand.
- Press about ¾ of the mix into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Press down to pack the crust with the back of a spatula or your palm. Place the remaining ¼ of the crumble in the refrigerator and bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.
While the crust bakes, make the filling:
- In a medium bowl, combine the thawed berries with the coconut sugar. Give the berries a rough mash with a fork to break them up.
- Mix in the cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Pour the filling over the prebaked crust and smooth it evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Top with the remaining ¼ of crumble and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden and lightly bubbling.
Cool the bars briefly at room temperature then transfer to the fridge until ready to serve.
- The colder the bars are, the cleaner they cut so I always refrigerate them for at least an hour or so before lifting out of the pan and slicing up.
- Then lift out of the pan, slice, and enjoy! Cut bars should be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.