Banana Crumble Bars

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Not your usual crumble flavours. This recipe uses five-spice as its flavouring instead of the usual cinnamon and/or nutmeg.

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I went crazy this time and made enough to fill two baking dishes.

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The first had two layers of banana with three layers of crumble.

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The second just had one layer of banana, but with two layers of crumble. So you get more crumble for banana.

I can’t decide which one I like better. One one hand, you get more of the rich gooey banana-y goodness. On the other, a better ratio of sweet, crunchy crumble with an almost cinnamon-like taste.

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The five-spice kind of has a similar flavour profile to cinnamon and nutmeg in this dish, but it adds an extra something to the crumble’s taste. Five-spice does contain cinnamon, but it’s mixed with star anise, cloves, Szechuan pepper, and fennel seeds. The resulting crumble tastes familiar, yet with the edge of something exotic in the background.

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I got this recipe from foodwishes. I just reduced the sugar because I thought the original recipe was a little too sweet when I made it before and changed the fruit to banana.

Ingredients (Probably enough for an 11″ by 7″ baking dish)

  • 184g all-purpose flour
  • 90g white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp five spice
  • 113g butter, ice-cold and cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp ice-cold water
  • Enough sliced bananas to cover the baking dish

Method

  1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and five spice in a large bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the mixture, until it’s just before the breadcrumbs stage. Add the egg yolk, then continue rubbing until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the ice-cold water and continue rubbing.
  4. Press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, so you get one solid layer.
  5. Arrange a layer of bananas on top.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture on top of the bananas and lightly press down (you still want it to be crumbly but not too crumbly).
  7. Bake at 190°C for 30-35 mins until the top is light gold and the edges are slightly browned. Let cool before cutting.

Notes

  • You can easily substitute the five spice for cinnamon and/or nutmeg. It’s still going to be a good crumble recipe.
  • Five spice can usually be found in Chinese supermarkets.
  • I doubled the recipe to fill the two baking dishes I used with a little leftover, if that can help you gauge how much this recipe will produce.
  • Sprinkling the 1/2 tsp of water may not seem to make much of a difference, but it adds just enough moisture to bring the dough together.
  • You can easily substitute the banana for other fruits. I have done this recipe with apples and blueberries and both turned out fine.
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