I'm not really a fruity dessert kind of girl. I love fruit, so I'm not sure why I have such an aversion to eating them in dessert, but I'll always pass over a peach cobbler for anything chocolate. I sometimes wonder why restaurants put so many fruit options on their dessert menu instead of more chocolate creations. My mother-in-law always orders key lime pie no matter what rich chocolate selections are offered. It's something that I'll never understand.
When I was trying to decide on how I should use the leftover blueberries from my cheesecake stuffed strawberries, these blueberry crumb bars I had bookmarked a while back immediately came to mind.
I normally associate fruity crumb bars with the holidays because it's the only time of the year that my mom bakes her signature cranberry bars. I always make room on my chocolate-heavy dessert plate for those bars. They're so incredibly rich, buttery, and sweet. Much like these blueberry crumb bars.
These bars have a sweet buttery shortbread crust that is layered with a sugary blueberry filling and shortbread crumbles. Each bite has the perfect ratio of blueberries that are still plump and juicy to those that burst during baking so that their sweet juices softened the crust. These were perfection. I was so satisfied with these bars that I didn't even need chocolate as post-dessert dessert (a common meal in my household).
I know that these seem labor intensive, but they really are so easy to bake. The most challenging part is making the shortbread crust because you have to cut cold butter into a sugared flour mixture; however, you can easily use your hands to assist and your crust comes together very simply. These are a delightful summer treat to use your fresh blueberries, but I wouldn't mind enjoying a bar or three over the holiday season.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup salted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cups fresh blueberries, at room temperature
11/2 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Butter an 8x8 baking dish, set aside
In a large bowl, whisk to ether flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and vanilla
Add egg mixture and cubed butter to flour mixture and use a fork or pastry cutter (or your finger tips) to cut mixture together until it resembles coarse crumbles
Gently press 2/3 of mixture into prepared baking dish
In separate mixing bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cornstarch
Stirn in lemon juice then add blueberries and toss mixture to evenly coat
Pour and spread blueberries evenly over crust
Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over berry layer
Sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar evenly over topping
Bake for 38-42 minutes until top is golden brown
Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares*
Store in airtight container for up to 1 week
*Note: I brought my bars to a party, so I was unable to try my preferred serving method, but I'm sure that these would be delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream
Source: Cooking Classy
Linked at: Time to Sparkle, Tuesday Talent Show, What's Cookin' Wednesday