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Blood Orange IPA Bars with Saffron Cream

Blood Orange IPA Bars with Saffron Cream

Good morning, my friends.

I’m in the midst of prepping for a few weeks away. Back to back trips to Grand Rapids, Michigan; Panama City, Panama; Kona, Maui, and someday finding my way back to the drizzly Pacific Northwest. I’ll never get numb to these trips. I’ll never stop thinking, "OH MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS MY JOB!" Because there was a time—when my job looked more like this— when I would have done nearly anything to have a job that necessitated so much travel. Because that’s my thing. We all have a thing. For some it’s a big house (my house is pretty tiny), for some people it’s clothes (no fancy clothes in my closet), for some people it’s a hobby, or a nice car, or a myriad of other spendable indulgences.

There are have stuff people, and do stuff people.

I’m firmly a do-stuff person. I’ll give up new things,  shop second hand for the rest of my life, live in a small house, drive an old car, if it meant more stamps in my passport.

If I do manage to live close to triple digit age I imagine I’ll be spending time telling the stories of my life, what I did, where I went, who I met. None of those stories will include the things I owned. The things I bought. The things I had.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe not. Either way, I’m going to do some things and leave all my stuff in my tiny house to survive without me while I’m away.

Food is for both have-stuff AND do-stuff people. I made some bars for all of us, mostly because blood oranges are in season and I have a deeply rooted need to do-stuff with them. Every year I juice more than I know what to do with and freeze what I can’t use.

This year my "what do I do with all this blood orange juice?" contemplation was interrupted  by a delivery from Stone brewing. An IPA that seemed to want to join the blood orange party. So that’s what happened. I used the Stone Tangerine Express IPA to add some nice hoppy notes to my dessert. Which might have been the best decision I made all week.

Blood Orange IPA Bars with Saffron Cream

Servings 9 bars


Saffron Cream:

  • 1 cup 240g heavy cream
  • 4-5 threads of saffron
  • 1/3 cup 38g powdered sugar


  • 1 cup 120g flour
  • 1/3 cup 38g powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons 84g unsalted butter
  • pinch salt


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups 354g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 33g cornstarch
  • ¼ cup 5g juice blood orange juice 1 tablespoon (1g) zest (about 2 large)
  • ¼ cup IPA 56g beer


  • Start the saffron cream. Heat the cream with saffron until starting to bubble, but not boiling (stove top or microwave will work), stir well. Chill until cream is very cold, about 2 hours.
  • In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt. Process until well combined.
  • Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Press crust into the bottom of prepared pan. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to about room temperature, about 15 minutes (this will help the crust and the filling to stay in two distinct layers.)
  • In a saucepan, off heat, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk in the blood orange juice, zest and beer. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Bake until the center is slightly wobbly but not sloshy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating. Chill for 2 to 3 hours until set.
  • Add the chilled saffron cream to a stand mixer with the powdered sugar. Beat until light, fluffy and medium peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  • Spread the whipped cream in an even layer on top of the bars. Chill until ready to serve. Cut into squares.

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Megan February 22, 2017 um 5:20 am

You will love Grand Rapids. I love living here. I’ve been here a little over two years, and I still haven’t been to all of the breweries. Plus, they just keep opening more all over the city. Are you coming for the Winter Beer Festival? That is definitely a fun time! Enjoy!
Side note – I’m completely with you on the do-stuff attitude!


Jackie February 22, 2017 um 10:03 am

Any breweries you recommend hitting? I’m going to Founders for sure, but not sure where else I’ll end up


Megan February 24, 2017 um 5:40 am

I am a big fan of The Mitten Brewery. It has a baseball theme and is in an old fire station. Plus, they have great beer and pizza. Harmony Hall is also a favorite. They have a big beer selection and make some unique in house sausages. If you’re a fan of Belgians then Brewery Vivant is a must. But really you can’t go wrong with any of the options in Grand Rapids. 🙂


Jackie February 24, 2017 um 5:58 am

Thank you so much! Brewery Vivant is on the list for sure, and Knickerbocker was also recommended. And Founders of course. I’ll also be at the Winter Beer Fest, Excited to visit!


Phil Klassen February 25, 2017 um 12:15 pm

As a "do stuff" vs "have stuff" person, you may appreciate one of my favorite local brewer’s tag line: "collect experiences, not things" . Dead Frog Brewery, Aldergrove BC Canada


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