Every year when crisp autumn air comes, we go apple picking. We always go to our local orchard, Battleview Orchards, because they have a wide range of apples from Granny Smith to Staymen Winesap, everything you need for baking and eating. Luckily for us since the weather has been a little crazy...warm one day, freezing the next...some of their late summer produce was still growing, deliciously sweet strawberries. So I decided to make a tea treat celebrating our current crazy mix of temperature and seasons with summer and autumn fruit wrapped in warm crispy oatmeal.
Here's my recipe for Apple Strawberry Oatmeal Bars:
1 Apple, peeled & shredded 1 lb Strawberries
1 Lemon, tested 1 Vanilla Bean pod
3 Tbsp sugar 1/4 cup Water
2 cups Rolled Oats 1 cup Hemp Seeds
2/3 cup Unbleached Flour 1/2 tsp Salt
8 Tbsp Butter 1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
Prep Work: Peel, core, and shred the apple. Butter an 8x8 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
For the apple strawberry compote:
1. Place strawberries, apple, lemon zest and juice, vanilla pod scraped, sugar, and water in a pot over low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes until you have a thick, and chunky texture.
For the oatmeal crust:
1. Mix the oats, flour, salt, and hemp seeds in a bowl.
3. Immediately pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. When the mixture’s cool enough to handle but still warm, use a measuring cup to evenly press half of it (about 1 1/2 cups) into the bottom of the prepared baking dish; set it aside.
4. Spread the strawberry-apple mixture evenly over the oat base. Evenly sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the apple compote and gently press it in with your fingers.
5. Bake at 350F for 40-45minutes, until top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting into 16 pieces.