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Peach Bars with Brown Butter Crumble

September 1, 2022

I'm a self-taught baker, recipe developer, photographer and writer in Brooklyn, New York. 

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several slices of peach bars with brown butter crumble laid next to each other, one leans on top of the rest showing the fruit inside.

I called these peach pie bars and peach brown butter crumble bars interchangeably over the course of testing them. I think it’s important to know about the brown butter upfront (it’s a major selling point!) so the latter name stuck. With just a little cinnamon and the addition of nutty, warm brown butter, these bars almost hint at the cozy recipes to come in the fall, but are still perfect for using up the best of your summer peaches.

Despite having to brown the butter (which only takes an attentive eye and 5 minutes) these peach crumble bars come together easily. The base and crumble topping are made from the same dough, you don’t have to pre-cook the filling, you just have to have enough patience to not cut into them while they’re still warm.

A tin of unbaked peach bars with brown butter crumble on a white marble countertop

Here are 3 tips for making peach crumble bars

1. Watch your butter. The process of browning evaporates water out of butter and cooks the milk solids. This process takes just a few minutes, and it might seem like nothing is happening, but you can go from melted butter to burnt butter quickly if you don’t keep an eye on the pan. You will know it’s done when it’s foaming in the pan, and you no longer hear the butter popping and fizzing — that means all the water has evaporated. It should smell nutty and you should see little flecks of milk solids that are a deep brown color.

2. You don’t have to peel your peaches, but you can. I like the texture and the color that the peels add.

3. Chilling is key for clean-cut bars. I know it’s tempting to just slice in right when they cool down enough to not burn the roof of you mouth, but have some restraint. I have found that letting the bars cool to room temperature in their pan on a wire rack, then using the parchment to lift them out, then placing them in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 15 or so minutes before slicing is the best course of action. Use a large, very sharp knife (I like to use a large serrated bread knife) and cut in long, even motions to maintain the integrity of the crumble topping.

A square of peach bars with brown butter crumble on a wood cutting board

Ingredients

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour (260 grams)

1/3 cup granulated sugar (67 grams)

1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (67 grams)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder  

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces (198 grams)

Filling

4 medium peaches, pits removed (about 1.4 pounds)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (105 grams)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon corn starch

Pinch kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square tin or baking dish and line with parchment paper. You can also grease the parchment to further prevent sticking.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Cook the butter, stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally, until it begins to bubble and pop. Continue cooking until it starts foaming and you can see dark brown flecks swimming in the butter when you stir. You’ll know it’s done browning when you no longer hear bubbling and popping — as that’s when all the water has been cooked off. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Slice each peach into 8 segments, then cut each segment into half-inch pieces.
  4. To a small mixing bowl, add the sliced peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt, breaking up any lumps you see.
  6. Pour the browned butter into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix them together until they form a crumbly dough.
  7. Dump about 1/2-2/3 of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the tin. Using an offset spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup, press the dough into the tin, completely covering the bottom in an even layer.
  8. Give the peach mixture one last stir and pour it onto the base layer. Spread it out evenly.
  9. Crumble the remaining topping over the peaches.
  10. Bake on the middle rack for about 50-60 minutes or until the topping is turning golden brown and the filling is bubbling in the center of the tin.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  12. Run a knife along the sides of the tin to loosen the bars. Lift the bars out using the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars and serve — or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag me @easygayoven on TikTok and Instagram.

several slices of peach bars with brown butter crumble laid next to each other, one leans on top of the rest showing the fruit inside.

Peach Bars with Brown Butter Crumble

Print Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 16
Author Eric King

Ingredients

Base Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (260 grams)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (67 grams)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (67 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces (198 grams)

Filling

  • 4 medium peaches, pits removed (about 1.4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (105 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square tin or baking dish and line with parchment paper. You can also grease the parchment to further prevent sticking.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Cook the butter, stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally, until it begins to bubble and pop. Continue cooking until it starts foaming and you can see dark brown flecks swimming in the butter when you stir. You’ll know it’s done browning when you no longer hear bubbling and popping — as that’s when all the water has been cooked off. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Slice each peach into 8 segments, then cut each segment into half-inch pieces.
  • To a small mixing bowl, add the sliced peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt, breaking up any lumps you see.
  • Pour the browned butter into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix them together until they form a crumbly dough.
  • Dump about 1/2-2/3 of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the tin. Using an offset spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup, press the dough into the tin, completely covering the bottom in an even layer.
  • Give the peach mixture one last stir and pour it onto the base layer. Spread it out evenly.
  • Crumble the remaining topping over the peaches.
  • Bake on the middle rack for about 50-60 minutes or until the topping is turning golden brown and the filling is bubbling in the center of the tin.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  • Run a knife along the sides of the tin to loosen the bars. Lift the bars out using the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars and serve — or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
A square of peach crumble bar on a blue dessert plate next to a brass fork

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