Tuesday, July 29, 2008

blueberry crumb bars

blueberry crumb bars

I uploaded pictures of this recipe yesterday onto Flickr, but didn’t get to telling you all about it because I was feeling a little lackadaisical after that whole seven days in a row of posting thing. Three hours later, I received this comment: “Omg, post the recipe already!”

Hmmph! I thought. The natives are getting restless.

blueberries, rinsedmaking the pastrypatting down the basespreading the blueberry filling

But who could blame them? Just look at these things! And, oh, to taste them. (As I just did. Because the memory of their deliciousness was vague and I had to. For the sake of clarification.) They’re tart and buttery and fruity and tangy and crumbly… And well, I understand why anyone would get impatient. Can you imagine how much people would revolt if they knew that I had baked these a whole five days ago and have kept them from you since?

It could get ugly.

ready to bakejust from the ovenblueberry crumb barsblueberry crumb bars

But if there ever were a dessert worth getting ugly for, it would have to be this. It manages to be The Very Dessert We Were Looking For To Use Up The Greenmarket Berries We Went Gaga Over but also The Perfect Solution to Picnic and Pot-Luck Dessert Limitations as well as–shh, don’t tell anyone–Seriously The Easiest Thing in the Whole World to Make. But we’ll just call them Blueberry Crumb Bars.

“Omg, post the recipe already!”

As you wish.

blueberry crumb bar

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Recipes like this make me wonder why I don’t use AllRecipes.com more. After seeing a blueberry crumb bar on another site, I immediately wanted to make them but the first recipe seemed overly fussy. I knew there was a simpler way to do it, and lo and behold, All Recipes had it. Once I swapped the shortening for butter–of course–and dolled it up with some lemon juice and lemon zest, they were just as heavenly as the 176 commenters promised they’d be.

I could imagine easily swapping another fruit or berry for the blueberries–I’m especially thinking something tart like sour cherries or cranberries in the fall (I’d use orange instead of lemon with cranberries). But if you have blueberries on hand, do not miss a chance to make these.

These are easiest to cut once chilled, and store even better in the fridge than they do at room temperature–something unusual for cookies!

Yield: I cut these into 36 smallish rectangles

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.


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