Blueberry Crumble Bars
Blueberry Crumble Bars are full of tangy blueberries with a hint of lemon atop a rich, shortbread crust and covered in a delectable, crumbly topping.
July is blueberry season, and Mr. SB picked up a huge container at Costco which ended up in the back of the fridge. Luckily I caught the berries before they went bad! And, even luckier, I found Deb Perelman’s (of Smitten Kitchen) recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars to make a batch of delicious creations – think rich, short-bready, crumbly with a deep blueberry scrumptiousness that tastes like a summer’s day.
A few notes
Blueberry crumble bars were easy to make too, and will be part of our shore picnics for the rest of summer (if they make it past breakfast). I adapted the recipe slightly. As I made these in the evening I was feeling a bit lazy so I used bottled lemon juice and skipped the zest. I am sure it would be that much better if I used fresh lemon juice and took the time to grate the zest. Good news – the bars are unbelievable even with this shortcut.
I also ran out of granulated, white sugar so I had to sub in some brown sugar which actually I think added some depth. I also love a touch of cinnamon with any fruit dessert, and the amount I add does not clash with the lemon at all. And I used an entire egg. Part of me hates wasting the egg white when recipes call for just the egg yolk. Thriftiness took over this time and again, the results were amazing.
I refrigerated the bars overnight, and then took them out so they were room temperature for breakfast. I had a cup of coffee with mine on the deck. The girls each grabbed one too as part of breakfast. Great way to start the day – or end it. There is no bad time for a blueberry crumble bar!
- 8 by 8 pan
- Mixing bowls
- Standard oven
For the Blueberry Layer
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest if you have the patience
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or bottled lemon juice lazy girl’s way turned out just fine with the bottled
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar I used organic cane sugar
For the Bottom Layer & Top
- 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter cold (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons). It is very important that the butter is cold as that is what helps keep the topping crumbly.
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with aluminium foil and grease with butter or shortening.
- In a medium bowl toss together the ingredients for the blueberry layer (blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice & sugar). Put aside.
- In a separate large bowl whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the baking powder.
- Cut in the butter & egg yolk using a fork until the mixture is crumbly.
- Press about two thirds to three quarters of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the blueberry mixture over top.
- To the rest of the flour mixture, stir in the brown sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
- Crumble the remaining dough over the blueberry mixture using your hands to distribute on the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until you see the blueberries bubbling and the crumble layer starting to turn golden.
- Allow to cool fully to room temperature and ideally put in the refrigerator to chill . Then lift the bars out of the pan using the aluminium foil overhang and cut into squares. I used a pizza cutter which worked well. I also let the bars warm to room temperature which really brings out the flavors.