Monday, June 13, 2011

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, which she found somewhere else and improved upon by adding lemon and butter.  I did absolutely nothing except follow the recipe, so all I have to add is to say, Yes, they are awesome. 

Blueberry Crumb Bars

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

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

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. (I started with two knives and then switched to a fork when the pieces got smaller.)
Dough will be crumbly. (And dry.  I was worried at first that I had mismeasured and added too much flour, but it all worked out.)
Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

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.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 5 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.

It was an easy recipe. The hardest part was cutting the butter into the flour mixture.  My arm got tired.  It might be easier with a pastry cutter; I'm not sure.  (Update: My mom suggested using a food processor.  Duh. That would probably save a lot of time and energy.  I will try that next time and report back.)  But it was worth the effort.  After they were baked and cooled, I put the pan in the refrigerator over night and then cut them cold the next day.  I think it's worth storing them in the fridge, too.  They're chewier cold, which I prefer. Either way, they are delicious, and I will make them again and again.  They are the perfect treat to bring to summer barbecues, even indoor ones, like the lunch we had yesterday.  (Thank you to our hosts!)  The weather was a bit raw at times, but good company and good food are always reliable.  I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend!

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