2½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
2 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 large basil leaves, finely chopped
Zest of 2 lemons
1¼ cups good-quality strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, and spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the flour, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Mix them together on low speed until well-combined. Add 8 oz (2 sticks) of softened butter, a tablespoon at a time, to the mixer and mix on low until the crust mixture starts to hold together and has the texture of wet sand.
- Set aside 1 cup of the flour mixture in a medium bowl, then scatter the rest in the prepared 9x13 pan.
- Press it down into an even layer. Bake the crust at 350 F for 16-18 minutes, until it starts to take on a golden brown color.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the crumb topping: add the brown sugar, oats, and pecans to the reserved flour mixture and stir them together. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and work it into the mixture until you have a pebbly texture, then refrigerate the crumble topping until you're ready to use it.
- Stir together the chopped strawberries, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped basil leaves in a large bowl. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, until the strawberries start to release their juice. Add the strawberry preserves and gently mash them together just to break up the berries a little bit.
- When the bottom crust is done baking, spread the strawberry mixture on top of the crust, then top it with the crumble topping. Raise the oven's temperature to 375 F and bake the pan for an additional 25-30 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling out.
- Cool the bars at room temperature for several hours, then use the foil as handles to lift them out of the baking pan. Cut them into small bars to serve.