Happy 4th of July everyone! After a really, really rainy June it looks like we just might get a glimpse of the sun on this long holiday weekend and I couldn't be happier! I'm planning to start the day with a trip to the farmer's market and then head into the kitchen to make dessert to bring to the cookout we're attending later in the day. There have been a ton of festive desserts popping up all over the web and I can't wait to get in on the fun!
I saw blueberries on sale at the store recently and went a little crazy piling pints of them into my basket. Fortunately, I had seen these blueberry crumb bars on Smitten Kitchen recently and was able to use up the last of my berries before they went bad. If you're still looking for a last minute dessert for today, these are an excellent option! They're super simple and come together in no time. You wind up with colorful little bars that are buttery and rich, sweet but not too sweet and just a tad bit tangy from the lemon juice and zest. I found the lemon flavor a bit more prominent than I expected but loved them nonetheless. These bars are terrific with blueberries, but I bet they'd also be delicious with raspberries or blackberries!
Blueberry Crumb Bars
from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan (I used nonstick cooking spray).
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. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently fold in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the berry layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. (I cut the bars after chilling them in the fridge for a bit which seemed to make it easier.)