One day before I started work I was looking for a simple recipe to try out but more importantly, a recipe I had all the ingredients already on hand for. Although the original recipe called for raspberry preserves I only had blackberry but I think they were terrific (I've been on a blackberry kick ever since I made my griddled blackberry bread pudding a couple of weeks ago). The one caveat I have with the recipe is that I was left with a TON of topping (even after making only half the original recipe). Thankfully crumb topping keeps until I decide what to try to make with it.
These were sinful (you could really taste the butter crust and a certain Paula Deene would likely be so proud) and the first bite of the preserves filling really hits you (best described as taste sensory explosion in your mouth).
Even if you're not the biggest fan of blackberries, any kind of preserves would be perfect to use.
Blackberry Crunch Squares
recipe adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
(I made half the recipe and used a 9 x 9 pan)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted, butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
5/8 cups blackberry preserves (beaten smooth with a mixer or a spoon)
(measure out 1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unpacked light brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust-In a large bowl, combine the butter with the flour until you get a doughlike consistency.
Spread crust evenly into an ungreased 9 x 9 square pan. Use a large piece of waxed paper to firmly and evenly press down crust. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, 30-40 minutes.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the topping: Mix the flour and the brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
When the crust is cool, gently and evenly spread the blackberry preserves over the crust, leaving a 1/4-inch edge all around. Sprinkle crumbs generously over the preserves (it will seem like more than you think you need).
Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes until golden brown.