When Awesome Bars stopped making their apricot walnut bar I was heartbroken. So I decided to do an oatmeal/walnut bar of my own. I used blueberries from our garden for this version, but it would be equally good with apples, rhubarb or peach slices.
Crust & Topping:
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 cups walnut pieces
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
grated rind of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons oat flour
1 Tbls cornstarch
1 Tbls walnut oil for pan
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 18″ pan.
Prepare the crust
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, pecans, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla and mix with a spoon until well blended. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers.
Prepare the filling:
Put the blueberries in a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over them, using a sieve to catch the seeds. In a separate bowl mix the sugar, flour, lemon rind and cornstarch. Pour the flour mixture over the berries and mix well with a spoon or your hands.
Grease the pan with the walnut oil and press in ¾ of the crust mix. Mix the filling ingredients together and pour over the crust. Top with the rest of the crust/topping mix. If desired, add up to ½ cup walnuts on top.
Bake at 350 for about an hour or until the top browns and the fruit is bubbling. Halfway through the baking take something flat (potato masher, bottom of a metal measuring cup etc) and press gently to squeeze some of the blueberry juices into the crust on top and bottom. This helps the bars to hold together. Cool before cutting into bars, but if desired, you can serve it warm like a crisp, with vanilla ice cream.