Cranberry-Orange Fruit Bars

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts), divided
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
Cooking spray, as needed
1/2 cup orange juice
5 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen), divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups orange segments
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

Combine the flours with 3/4 cup of the nuts, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the salt in bowl of a food processor; pulse until nuts are finely ground. Add the butter; pulse until well-incorporated.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, oil, almond extract and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. With processor motor running, add liquid mixture to flour-nut mixture. Process, then pulse, scraping down sides if necessary, until mixture begins to clump, for 30 to 45 seconds. Measure out 1/2 cup mixture and combine in a bowl with remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts. Set aside for topping.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some of the cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, combine the orange juice with 3 cups of the cranberries, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously until mixture is very thick, for 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get a thick result if starting with frozen fruit.) Stir in the orange segments, orange zest, remaining 2 cups cranberries and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Transfer dough to prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into bottom to form a crust. Spread fruit filling over crust. Sprinkle reserved topping over filling.

Bake bars in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake until crust and topping are lightly browned, for 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely, for at least 11/2 hours, before cutting into bars.

Makes 18 bars.

— Recipe from "The Simple Art of Eating Well Cookbook," by Jessie Price and the Eating Well Test Kitchen.


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