Happy Friday, friends!
Let’s celebrate the weekend with some sweet treats. Namely, these pineapple coconut crumb bars! Given that I could (and did) eat an entire pan of these by myself, I’m so down.
I am a sucker for anything with a streusely, crumbly topping. I’m also a sucker for anything using fresh pineapple. I also adore anything coconut flavored. So, as one might imagine, these crumb bars were destined to be. They were a brainchild of mine for months before I finally got around to testing them out. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I knew they would be good. No, I knew they would be GREAT. And my expectations were met…and exceeded. You guys, these crumb bars are insane.
In a good way, of course.
They start with fresh pineapple curd. Yup, you read that right. Fresh. Pineapple. Curd. The stuff is…drinkable. It tastes like the juiciest, most delicious chunk of pineapple you ever tasted. But better! Because there’s butter in said curd (which, by the way, is one of the worst words on the face of the earth). And sugar. And everything nice.
It comes together just as lemon curd would: pineapple, butter, sugar, and eggs. Cooked until a silky smooth, perfect consistency is achieved. It gets cooled and then poured into a pan on top of the most addictive sugary dough. Just look at that glorious puddle of heaven. I want to slurp it up!
One key thing to making this curd: you need to start with fresh pineapple and puree/strain it. I tried this recipe using canned pineapple juice (in the hopes of eliminating a step for you guys), but the curd just didn’t turn out as well. I think the naturally occurring pectin in the fruit helps create the curd-like texture (again, grossest word ever. Sorry) you need here.
Plus! You just can’t beat the flavor of using FRESH pineapple. It makes a world of difference in the end.
Despite the curd taking an extra step or two, the dough comes together very easily. It is super simple (the best kind of dough, right?)! It has some great texture, thanks to the oats and coconut flakes, and it’s pretty much foolproof. Anyone can make it. You don’t even have to wait for butter to soften! It gets melted and stirred in by hand. Super easy. And incredibly delicious. Half the dough gets set aside for the crumble layer (swoon!), and half gets pressed into the baking pan as the delicious base for these bars.
After the bars have baked and cooled (I like to let them set up in the fridge), you can slice them however which way you like and dust them as liberally as you like with powdered sugar. It gives them their glam look for beauty shots. Just look at how cute they are with their little snowy dusting of sugar!
So cute I want to eat them up. All up.
Eating these is like biting into a dessert version of a piña colada sans the booze. They are sweet, creamy, and loaded with the pineapple-coconut flavor combo we all know and love. The streusel is buttery and caramely and has the best texture.
These BELONG in your weekend plans, friends. You will not regret it.
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
⅓ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
Pinch of fine salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, plus another ¼ cup
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of fine salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for serving
In a blender or food processor, puree the pineapple chunks until completely smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Discard the pulp.
Measure out 1 cup of the resulting puree and add it to a medium saucepan.
Add the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and a pinch of fine salt. Place the pan over medium-low heat.
Bring the mixture to just below a simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth and incorporated. Set aside to cool slightly (the curd will continue to thicken as it cools).
Combine the flour, oats, ½ cup of the coconut, baking soda, salt, and sugars in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the melted butter and vanilla and mix until everything is well combined and crumbly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan well and line with parchment paper. Press three-fourths of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Pour the warm pineapple curd evenly over the crust layer.
To the remaining dough, add in the remaining ¼ cup of flaked coconut. Stir to combine and then crumble the mixture over top of the curd layer. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the crumble is golden.
Cool the bars to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Slice the chilled bars and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.
I tested this recipe using fresh pineapple (which is the recipe shown) and using canned pineapple juice. The pineapple curd didn't have the same intense pineapple flavor with the juice, nor did the texture turn out quite as well (I think it has to do with the natural pectin in the fruit itself). So, I highly recommend you start out with fresh pineapple for this recipe. It really made a huge difference.