NEW CASTLE —
Cranberry-Orange Fruit Bars
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons apple sauce or pureed prunes
- 1 large egg or egg substitute equivalent
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Fruit Filling:
- 5 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, divided
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup orange segments
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To prepare crust, combine 2/4 cup oats, whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse to mix, add apple sauce (or pureed prunes) until well incorporated.
Whisk egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump or look crumbly. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of oats. Set aside for topping.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13- inch baking dish with cooking spray.
To prepare fruit filling and assemble bars, combine 3 cups cranberries, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get the thick result if you start with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining 2 cups cranberries, orange zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.
Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the crust and topping are light brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least One and one-half hours.
Makes 18 bars.