What's Baking: Blueberry Crumb Bars


While at Golden Harvest the other day, I couldn't resist picking up a quart of Michigan-grown blueberries, even though I already had a pint of blueberries in the fridge. I knew I wanted to make some sort of baked good with them -- but I also wanted to stray away from the typical blueberry coffee cake that I always make. A quick search on Smitten Kitchen (one of my favorite blogs), and I had my recipe to try. I made a few small alterations to the recipe (originally from AllRecipes), and the resulting crumb bars are full of blueberry-goodness with just the right amount of sweetness and savory cinnamon flavor. Now I just need to resist the urge to eat the entire panful in one sitting...

Blueberry Crumb Bars (printer-friendly version)
about 36 small bars

For the fruit filling:
1 quart blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

For the dough:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
zest from one lemon
1 cup (two sticks/16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13"x9" baking dish. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and flour.
4. Mix in the lemon zest.
5. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture. Add in the egg and also blend in with the pastry cutter. Dough will be crumbly.
6. Pat half of the dough into the prepped baking dish. Top with the blueberry filling. Sprinkle the remaining dough crumbles over top of the blueberry layer.
7. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top of the crumble is just beginning to brown. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill. These crumb bars are easier to cut after they have been chilled.

(adapted from this Smitten Kitchen recipe)

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