Blueberry Crumb Bars {Guest Post by gotta get baked}

 

Hi all. As I continue on my good student path, my friend Nancy from gotta get baked is here with an amazing recipe for you. If you have not met Nancy, I suggest you head over to her blog as soon as you can. She has the coolest, most candid and fun blog around. I greatly admire her style of writing; it’s sincere, straight-forward and always funny. I wish I could have her skills.  Above all, she is an incredible baker and her recipes are always so inviting and drool-worthy. Wait until you dig into these blueberry crumb bars. Did I mention she is a full-time criminal law attorney? Yeah, she is a lawyer by day and a baker by night. How she manages to do it all so well beats me.  I’m so happy to have her here today!

blueberry crumb bars

Hi everyone, I’m Nancy of gotta get baked. I have the honour and pleasure today of guest posting for my friend, Zainab, who is knees deep in writing a paper for publication. Zainab is seriously awe-inspiring. The woman is a neuroscience PhD student fergoodnesssakes! AND she still manages to create insanely delicious food and blog about it on a regular basis. I have nothing but love ‘n respect for this incredible woman.

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I was a terrible student when it came to math and science. I focused all my attention on creative arts (writing, English, music, drama) and it’s a miracle I made it into university. Back then the entrance standards were lower, thank gawd! I don’t know why I took math or chemistry in grades 11 and 12. What a glutton for punishment. I ended up with 40% in math and I cheated my way through chem (my fellow dumbasses and I would print out answers in the smallest font possible on the computer and tape them to anything we could – the back of a calculator, a ruler, even erasers!). Shameful, I know. Hopefully Zainab doesn’t cut me from her list of friends due to my lack of ethics and morals!

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I wanted to make Zainab something cheerful but simple, something that can be whipped up and enjoyed with little time commitment. Knowing what a horrible winter Zainab suffered through, my mind went to fruit and of course, I have blueberries in my freezer all year round. I adapted a recipe from Smitten Kitchen and made blueberry crumb bars in a cheesecake pan to give it a different look from the regular rectangular bars.

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These bars are seriously delicious. The shortbread base and crumble on top are buttery, sturdy enough to hold the filling but still light and crumbly when you bite into it. The filling is bursting with blueberry flavor, slightly sweet, and pairs wonderfully with the shortbread.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
INGREDIENTS
Base and Crumb Top:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened but cooler than room temp
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • zest of one lemon
Blueberry Filling:
  • 4 cups frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch plus ¼ cup water
  • juice of one lemon
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside a 9 inch cheesecake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together ¾ cup sugar, 2 ¾ cup flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, salt and lemon zest. Using a fork or pastry cutter, blend in the butter and egg until the dough is crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the cheesecake pan.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the four cups of frozen blueberries over medium high heat. When the blueberries are heated and begin releasing liquid, lower the heat to medium and add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir together the 4 teaspoons cornstarch with the ¼ cup water to make a slurry. Add it to the blueberry mixture, stir until fully incorporated and allow to come to a boil (increase the heat a bit if need be). This will thicken the blueberry mixture. Set the saucepan aside.
  4. Bake the base of the crumb bar for 10 minutes to firm up a bit. Pull the cheesecake pan out of the oven and pour the blueberry mixture overtop. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the blueberry mixture. If you’re worried about the liquid dripping from the cheesecake pan (as I was), place the pan on top of a baking sheet before placing back into the oven.
  5. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  6. Cool completely before slicing.
ZAINAB'S NOTES
Aadapted from Smitten Kitchen

Zainab, I hope you’re not working TOO hard, girl! You’re going to do a fabulous job because you’re brilliant. I hope you enjoy these bars as much as I enjoyed making them for you!

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Thank you very much Nancy for these incredible blueberry crumb bars. I can’t wait to try them. They will be perfect for the long nights ahead.

Didn’t I tell you guys she was awesome? Make sure you follow Nancy on her social media channels to keep in touch! You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.