Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars

It’s that wonderful time of year when there is so much wonderful fresh produce available, and more and more coming in-season every day. Since blueberries are plentiful (and inexpensive!) right now, I’ve been eating them obsessively, and freezing them for those sad days when you can’t just run to the nearest market and buy them super fresh, and local.

I’ve been hoarding blueberry recipes like it’s my job, and decided to actually give one a try: Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars. Basic, simple, and super-delicious! I made a half-recipe in an 8×8 pan (those directions are below in parentheses), with white whole wheat flour, and they were delightful! Mildly sweet, and they kept their shape well. I hate it when you try to cut bars and they crumble all over the place. If you like sweeter desserts, add more sugar. And if you REALLY like blueberries, throw some extra into the blueberry layer — you won’t regret it!

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars

1 cup white sugar (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder (1/2 tsp)
3 cups all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups, and I used white whole wheat)
1 cup unsalted butter (1/2 cup, or 1 stick)
1 egg (1 egg — I didn’t divide this!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1 tsp — I didn’t divide this either, I love vanilla!)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 tsp)
zest of two lemons (zest of one lemon)

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (2 heaping cups)
1/2 cup white sugar (1/4 cup)
3 teaspoons cornstarch (1 1/2 tsps)

** I added the juice of one lemon to this mixture, and it was great

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan (or 8×8 if you are halving the recipe) with parchment paper and grease the pan and paper.

1) In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, salt, lemon zest and baking powder.

2) In a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla together until combined.

3) Use pastry cutter or your food processor (or your fingers if you’re patient!) to blend the flour mixture with the butter and egg/vanilla mixture. The dough should be crumbly. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.

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

5) Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

These bars make a nice summer dessert, perhaps something you could eat every day! Sometimes I make things that I feel a bit guilty about eating on a regular basis, but these babies are mostly harmless — so go ahead, indulge!

I’ve got a queue of things to write about (from Father’s Day, of course), but a real work life that’s keeping me busy! I’ll be back at it soon 🙂

With love, and sugar. Enjoy!

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