For this yummy fruit and oat bar, we've made a thick purée from dried mangos to create a delectably chewy filling. These bars will disappear in a flash, and they're a great addition to any lunchbox.
It's a great idea to keep a supply of dried fruits in the pantry; they're wonderfully versatile and they add bright tang or a burst of sweetness to so many dishes. When fresh fruit is out of season, using the dried variety is easy and delicious.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.
Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, ginger and salt in a medium-size bowl and stir to blend. Add the butter and mix it in with your fingers or with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Pat half of the mixture into the prepared pan and reserve the remainder.
Place the mangos, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the mangos are soft and tender and the liquid has evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed. Remove the pan from the stove and let the filling cool for 10 minutes.
Spread the mango filling over the crust in the baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the filling and pat lightly.
Bake until the topping is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Whole wheat flour is more nutritious and has more fiber than white flour because the bran and the germ aren’t removed during milling. However, baking with regular whole wheat flour produces baked goods that are heavier and denser than those made with traditional all-purpose white flour.
The good news is that whole wheat pastry flour is becoming more widely available. While it still isn’t as light as traditional all-purpose white flour, it’s close in texture and taste, making it appropriate for baking all but the most delicate pastries, quick breads, and cakes.