Run – don’t walk – immediately to the store to grab up all the fresh apricots before they’re out of season because these bars are a must-make this summer!
They’re sweet, they’re crumbly, they’re warm and nutty… they have texture galore and are the just-right balance between a bar, a crumble, and the summertime dessert you’ve got to serve warm with ice cream.
They’re going to make those fresh fruit dessert dreams come true, I promise.
Where are we at with fresh apricots? I totally get they might not be a common occurrence in your kitchen. And no knock on the midwest, but they were not a thing I’d had (maybe ever?!) until my adult life. They just don’t feel that prevalent in the Midwest. That’s all changing though.
Busting out of the mold and changing things up, we’re making apricot bars until apricot season ends. Let’s get to it!
How to Make Apricot Crumble Bars
After several tests (and I mean like 5 or 6…really, this is a tough job but someone has to do it) it came down to two things:
1) The bars had to have the same crust and crumble mixture – it was much easier this way. No one wants to use three different bowls and make essentially three different parts for a bar recipe, especially in the summer. So here we are, with the easiest version possible.
2) I wanted these to be egg-free, and as much as possible, dairy-free. They do have butter (duh), but as someone who doesn’t often have milk on hand, I didn’t want you to have to run out for extra ingredients, either.
With all that testing out of the way (again, you’re welcome ;)), we have sweet, crumbly bars bursting with fresh apricot and rich almond flavor.
The Crust and Crumble
You will start by mixing the crust, which also happens to be the crumble topping.
Oats, flour, brown sugar, and a few other dry ingredients (ahem, including lots of cinnamon) mix together before getting a generous pour of melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
You bet we have almond infused throughout the bars. Almond. Apricot. Heaven.
The key here is to not make the mixture uniform, you want it to remain in a crumble-like state for the topping.
Divide about 2/3 of the mixture into the baking dish and then press down to form the crust. You’ll bake it for about 10 minutes so it has a chance to set up.
Mix sliced almonds in with the remaining topping and place it in the fridge so those crumbles stay in tact. No melting here!
While that’s happening…
Prepare the apricot filling by mixing together the diced apricots with more almond extract (yes!) and more cinnamon (yes!) — do you see the warm flavor trend here? THESE BARS ARE LIKE A HUG.
The filling goes in the par-baked crust, then on goes the crumble topping.
Bake until the edges are bubbly and the crumble is golden brown and you’ve reached apricot oatmeal bar perfection.
How to Serve Crumble Bars
They’re baked. Your house is smelling like all sorts of lovely goodness: cinnamon-y, almond-y, sweet and de-li-cious!
But you’ve gotta wait.
I mean, technically you can scoop up the “bars” immediately and serve in a bowl crisp type situation with a large scoop of ice cream on top, too. That’s completely acceptable.
But if you want to eat them in bar form, you must have patience. They need to set up (remember all of our fresh juice apricots that are hiding inside?) before they’re cut into bars.
I recommend letting them cool on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour, and then pop them in a fridge for a bit. This will help when you go to cut them, ensuring they are set up and stay together.
Not into cold desserts? Serve at room temperature no problem!
Or hey, stick to the warm dessert ice cream situation and live your best life.
Can I use other fruits?
Yes! I’ve tested this recipe with other stone fruits specifically (think: nectarines, peaches…), which I highly recommend. Even a peach-apricot mixture is 😍.
Throw in some raspberries for a pop of red and a berrylicious flavor …I mean, the world is your oyster, my friend.
Love Apricot? Check out these recipes!
- Apricot Pistachio Cookies
- Apricot Brie Grilled Cheese
- 3 Ingredient Energy Bites
- Peach Galette – ok, not apricots but you could totally make it with apricots, too!
Get the Recipe Apricot Almond Crumble Bars
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup almond slices, for the topping
- 5-6 small apricots, ~1 1/4 pounds, diced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the melted butter and extracts until combined and a pebble-like mixture forms. Press approximately 2/3 of the mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.
- Add almond slices to the remaining mixture, being careful to keep it in “crumble” form. Place in the fridge.
- Make the filling by combining the apricots, sugar, cinnamon, corn starch, and almond extract until apricots are thoroughly coated. Spread in an even layer on top of the par-baked crust. Top with the almond crumble topping and bake for 38-42 minutes until edges are bubbly and top is slightly golden brown.
- Let cool completely (see note) before cutting into bars and serving.