Tamal Ray’s strawberry crumble bar. Photograph and prop styling: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian. Food stylist: Valerie Berry
Forget about the mess and let the kids enjoy making their own scrumptious sweet treats
Baking with kids can be a stressful experience. I find it’s best to embrace the chaos and accept that you might end up with more flour on the floor than in the bowl, and that your wares will look wonkier than those perfect Instagram posts. It’s also worth remembering that an afternoon spent making tasty things with little ones is a special time, and one you’ll treasure long after the last bowl has been licked clean and you’ve (finally) finished clearing up.
Strawberry crumble bars
To get the best crumble, it’s important that the butter doesn’t melt when being rubbed into the flour. Wash your hands with cold water, and dry thoroughly before starting. If you feel the butter is beginning to melt halfway through, give it a 10-minute break in the fridge before continuing.
Prep 20 min
Cook 40 min
Makes 12-15 squares
250g plain flour
200g chilled butter, cut into cubes
100g soft light-brown sugar
80g porridge oats
For the filling
200g strawberry jam
175g strawberries, hulled and sliced
100g dried cranberries or raisins
Start by making the crumble mix. Put the flour, butter and sugar in a large bowl and rub between your thumb and fingers, until evenly combined and resembling breadcrumbs. Mix in the oats, then transfer to the fridge to cool.
Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)/ gas 4. Line the base and sides of a square 23cm baking tin with greaseproof paper, and grease liberally with butter. Tip in two-thirds of the crumble mix and press down firmly. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
Spread over the jam, sprinkle with the strawberry slices and dried fruit, and top with the remaining crumble mix. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden. Leave to cool in the tin before slicing into squares.