May 17, 2010

Crumbly Goodness on a Rainy Day

My mom has always been a lover of blueberries; on her weekly trips to Costco, she always buys the over size bag and pretty much adds them to everything from her oatmeal to her cereal, her yogurt to her granola. What can I say? She's a blueberry addict, and it's starting to rub off onto me..
So after we came back this weekend from my older sisters graduation from Duke University, I figured I would start off this summer with a treat for my momma, since she's the one who missed my cooking and baking the most (she constantly would tell me while at school "I miss my little personal chef!") Don't get me wrong- my momma is a fabulous cook, everything (well almost everything) that I know about techniques or just experimenting in the kitchen is due to her expertise. All my friends love coming over to our house, walking through the door and inhaling the aroma of fresh baked bread, coffee cake, cookie brownies, soup, spaghetti and meatballs, or whatever the day brings.

Of all the recipes that I wanted to try out this summer (I have a word document with 27 pages of links to recipes on it...) I wanted to make sure I picked one that my momma would love, and I thought this recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars, adapted from Smitten Kitchen, would be perfect. Simple and easy to make even a beginner could do it! If blueberries aren't in season, use frozen like I frozen ones were wild blueberries which are somewhat smaller but have a more intense and sweet flavor that momma and I love: try them out! You'll fall in love..


For crumb layer:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups all purpose flour

2 sticks butter (unsalted)

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest of one lemon

For Blueberry Layer:

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

Juice of one lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg (However I always use my hands, they're really the best tool). Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

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

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

*If you have a convection oven, 33 minutes does the trick!

**Store in the fridge, makes them much easier to cut

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