Liz’s blueberry crumb bars

Blueberries are now in season here in NJ.  Every year when the market opens in May with strawberries and asparagus, I have to remind my husband that blueberries come in July…around the 4th of July.  And then he waits.  Not always so patiently.  He likes blueberries right out of the box.  When blueberries finally arrive at the market I buy six at a time (and hope I have enough).  Breakfast at our house starts with opening a pint box of blueberries, rinsing them, pouring them in a bowl, and setting them on the table.  My husband eats a pint at breakfast every morning in July.

My oldest daughter has two little boys.  They are not such big fans of plain bowls of blueberries.  But they do like cookies!  This is her recipe for a blueberry “cookie”.  It is very crumbly and is best served in a bowl with lots of ice cream!

Ingredients for the crust and topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers  (her substitution to please young palates….the recipe called for 1/2 cup finely crushed almonds)  If you don’t have already crushed graham crackers, just put the whole crackers in a plastic bag and crush them yourself…by hand, with a rolling pin, or, my favorite…the meat tenderizing hammer!

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

Ingredients for the filling:
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and drained (you want the berries to be dry)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

1.  Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Line an 8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.  Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
3. Make the crust and topping:  Put flour, oats, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.
4.  Add the butter and using a pastry cutter, your fingers, or a large fork, mash the butter into the dry ingredients until there are no large pieces of butter.  The ingredients should look. crumbly and should hold together if you squeeze in your hand.

5.  Set aside one cup of the crust mixture.
6,  Dump the rest of the crust mixture into your prepared pan and press firmly and every into the pan.

7.  Making the filling:  Put the blueberries in a medium bowl.  Add the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.  Stir to combine.
8.  Spoon the blueberry mixture over the crust.
9.  Sprinkle the remaining (the one cup you put aside) crust over the blueberries.IMG_8644

10.  Bake until the blueberries are bubbling and the top is golden brown.  40 to 45 minutes.

Let cool about 2 hours before cutting.



Blueberries are plentiful at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market now.  You can purchase them from A. T. Buzby Farm, Brookeberry Farm, Flaim Farm, Formisano Farm, Fruitwood Farms, Hymer Farm, Muth Organic Farm, and Springdale Farms.

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