These Blueberry Crumb Bars are delicious! I am craving them just looking at the pictures… thankfully there are peach bars in the oven for tonight. 😉
We’ve been using a lot of freshly ground spelt flour instead of whole wheat. The plus side, is that there is less gluten than wheat and the flavor is smooth and buttery, not too “wheaty.” The downside, is that there IS less gluten… which means baked things don’t always hold together as well. In this recipe, spelt works wonderfully and creates such a hearty, deep-flavored bar.
I’m also very pleased with the use of whole cane sugar in this recipe. The molasses taste only compliments the berries and spelt. One thing that I’m wondering about, is whether there is some alternative to the cornstarch used in the filling. I’ve heard about arrowroot powder, but we’ve never used it and it sounds strange. Perhaps for those like us, with a simpler pantry, white flour might work? Something to try next time.
One more note! I’m one who usually omits the lemon zest in recipes – it takes too long, and sometimes the flavor it adds is too strong. But in this recipe it really brings everything together with great freshness! That being said, I only had frozen lemon cubes this time, and so omitted the zest, and it was still delicious.
Okay, enough with my attempt at “food-blogging”… on to the recipe!
Whole cane sugar, baking powder, and flour.
Oh, yeah. And salt. (NOTE: if using lemon zest, now would be the time to add that, as well)
Cut in butter and scrambled egg until it looks something like this…
You should see small, yet distinct, chunks of butter. This is one of the biggest keys to tender, flaky pastry crust!
Pat half of the crumb mixture into greased pan.
Mix lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch (or substitute?).
Pour cornstarch mixture over berries, crushing the berries slightly as you stir together.
I wasn’t too pleased with the consistency using the spoon, so I used my hands! Sorry, no pictures of that. 😛
Distribute blueberry mixture evenly over crust.
Sprinkle remaining half of crumb mixture over top of the blueberries.
Bake at 375 degrees F and voila! Enjoy! These are best lukewarm, if you ask me.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
(adapted from http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/07/blueberry-crumb-bars/)
1 cup whole cane sugar (Sucanat or Rapunzel)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup whole cane sugar (Sucanat or Rapunzel)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 375* F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
2. Whisk together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Blend only until the butter is in small, but still distinct chunks. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir into blueberries, gently crushing some of the berries. Pour the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely
(… or not) before cutting into squares.