Blueberry Crumb Square Bars

We have officially entered into what I call, “if-we-lived-in-California-life-would-always-be-like-this phase”. The days are hot and long and the farmers are showing off Mother Nature’s best.
We may have an abbreviated growing season in New England but I like to think we appreciate each and every moment. This week our blueberry bushes have begun to burst with berry sweetness.  In a few days they will be at their prime.
Today we are baking one of my family’s favorite quick Blueberry Recipes of all time — Blueberry Crumb Bars. And here’s the best part, with a food processor crumb bars can be whipped up in about ten minutes!


Crust Ingredients 

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg beaten
zest of 1 orange

Blueberry Filling Ingredients
4  1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons corn starch

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degree F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Step 2: In bowl of food processor add  flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles large peas. Add beaten egg and pulse about 10 times until barely incorporated. Dough will be crumbly and sandy in texture.

Step 3: Pat half of dough into the prepared pan. Bake crust for 20 minutes, until golden.  Let cool for 10 minutes before adding blueberry mixture.

Step 4: In another bowl, add all blueberry filling ingredients. With a spatula stir to combine. Spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the cooled crust. Crumble remaining dough over the blueberry layer. Do not worry if you see some blueberries poking through.

Step 5: Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown, at 375 degrees F. Cool the blueberry crumb bars before cutting into squares. Makes at least 24 bars.

Tips

*If you prefer lemon to orange zest, feel free to make the change.
*If making with frozen blueberries, add extra teaspoon of corn starch to blueberry mixture.
*The blueberries should cook long enough that they are bubbly. If top browns too quickly, cover with foil.

* 1 cup of old fashioned oats and 1/2 almonds or pecans are delicious additions to the dough. If using oatmeal, just decrease flour by amount of oatmeal you are adding.  Pulse in food processor with all of your dry ingredients.
*serve while still warm for a freeform dessert, spoon the blueberry crumb bars into individual bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Bring these easy to make and delicious Blueberry Crumb Bars to your next party, baseball playoff game with the kids, or a beach picnic and watch your friends and family swoon! Enjoy!

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