get it out...in the kitchen

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I am back!

Let’s get down to business.

Feast your eyes on these blueberry crumb bars.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

It has been an eventful few weeks: we moved into a new house and traveled all over the U.S. to see our families AND no one strangled anyone in the process.

We had a wonderful time visiting with our families and catching up on lost time. But by the end of the nine day trip my body had no idea what time zone I was in, my eyes were glazed over and stung when I closed them, and my intentions of keeping a tidy suitcase were muffled by my slapdash effort to jam it all in so I could get some shut eye before our 3 am departure. Priorities.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

The kids did great considering the changing time zones, plane rides, car trips, and shuffles through security. Except for the connecting flight we almost missed due to Older Son’s tantrum on the tarmac. Since Dear Husband was on the plane installing the monstrous nightmare car seat, I had the pleasure of gently coercing him to follow me onto the plane in front of a glaring audience. You ever seen The Negotiator? It was kind of like that, minus the SWAT team.

Younger Son had his moments too. He pooped twice on two separate flights because I guess he wanted me to experience turbulent diaper changing on a shelf the size of a cutting board. If there’s ever a moment that you look back on your life and feel like you haven’t had enough wine, this was it.

Fun times.

Anyway, I’m so happy to be in the kitchen again and there’s so much I have to tell you. Today I’ll start by introducing you to my new partner in crime, the Connoisseur. Check this out:

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Nope, it’s not a ham radio. This here is a vintage 1960’s original-to-the-house self-cleaning double oven. We are slowly getting to know each other, like kids that poke each other just to watch the reaction. No doubt some good things have come out of here, but she also clearly hasn’t flexed her culinary muscles in awhile. So we play. Stay tuned.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

When we first moved into our house I couldn’t wait to decorate the counter with fresh foods. I went to the fruit stand at full peak of blueberry season and couldn’t help myself. Look at those beauties! So that’s right, another blueberry recipe because blueberries are awesome.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I’ve been making these blueberry crumb bars for awhile, but pulled out the recipe and spruced it up anyway. I love the result.  A lemon-kissed cookie-like crust with a simple blueberry middle and a crunchy crumble baked on top. Easy to put together, quick to bake, and a fresh berry jammy layer that will leave you wanting more. Better yet, they’re stored in the fridge, so on hot days you can whip one out for cool satisfaction.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Better still, the top and bottom dough are the same.  You will zest a lemon and rub it into sugars, add some flour and butter and an egg, then press it into a 9×13 pan. After that, dress up the blueberries and pile on top. Lastly, sprinkle the rest of the dough crumble and bake.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I threw in a big handful of raspberries that our neighbor gave us from her garden and it was perfect. You can use all blueberries (which I usually do), or even swap them for all raspberries.  BUT, if you have blueberries and raspberries around, give these a try. They do not disappoint.

It seems the Connoisseur and I are off to a decent start. It’s good to be back.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumb Bars
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You will need:
For the dough:
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg
For the berries:
  • 4 c fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 c fresh raspberries (optional)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • juice of one lemon (approx 3 tbsp)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.

  2. In a large bowl, add granulated and brown sugars, then add lemon zest. Using the back of a spoon, rub the zest into the sugars for a couple of minutes to release the oils.

  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until combined.

  4. Add cold and cubed butter and egg. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, blend together until the dough resembles wet sand and is crumbly. 

  5. Pour half of the dough into the pan and pat evenly into one layer.

  6. In a medium bowl, add blueberries and raspberries, if using. Sprinkle sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and lemon juice over the berries and gently mix to combine. Pour the berries over the dough in the pan.

  7. Sprinkle the remaining dough crumbles over the berries.

  8. Bake for 45-55 min until the top is slightly golden and the edges are bubbly.  Cool completely before cutting. Store the leftovers in the fridge, they're amazing the next day.