Blueberry Crisp Bars
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tb. cornstarch
- 2-1/2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 Tb. lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 10 Tb. cold butter cubed
- 1-1/4 cups old fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Place the blueberries in a medium bowl.
Sprinkle the sugar and cornstarch over the blueberries; toss to coat.
Add lemon juice and stir to combine; set aside.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add cubed butter. Use a pastry blender or two forks, and cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles small peas.
Add oatmeal, stir well to combine.
Press approximately 1-3/4 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Spread the blueberries on top of the crust.
Sprinkle remaining crust mixture evenly on top of the blueberries and press lightly.
Bake for 45 minutes uncovered.
Cover with foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until a knife in the center shows only blueberry juice and no raw dough.
Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack.
FUN FACT: I am not a fan of most pies. The reason is simple: I don’t like basic pie crust. In fact I don’t really understand what most people like about it. It’s flour and some sort of fat, so it’s fairly flavorless. I guess that allows the filling to shine, but then why bother with a crust at all?
So, this dislike of pie crust leads me to veer in other directions. Sometimes it’s creating a pie that has a different crust, be it graham cracker, vanilla wafer, or shortbread. Other times I create a crisp, such as Blueberry Crisp or Apple Crisp, to give me the flavor of the pie filling with a much more delicious component to it.
With summer upon me and more local produce available, I’ve been working on recipes that can highlight fresh veggies and fruits. I know that all winter long I complain the lack thereof, so I need to make sure I embrace produce while it’s here. Of course, it’s early in the farming season in New Hampshire, so blueberries were a perfect target for mid to late July.
Add to that I had a second motivation for creating this recipe. My daughter, who’s home from college for the summer, has an office job. Why not use her co-workers as my recipe guinea pigs a time or two? Quite often it’s my husband who gets to do that, but my daughter was more than glad to have a sweet treat in the office.
So, here I am with fresh blueberries and the need to create an office-friendly food. Isn’t it obvious to want to create a handheld version of blueberry crisp? For me it was!
After sharing the treats with her office mates, I asked my daughter for feedback. I don’t want to hear simply, “They loved it.” The only way I can improve is honest feedback. Apparently these bars were a success because there were no suggestions. However, I did get one question, “How did she get so many blueberries in there?”
These bars are pretty simple to make, BUT the most important thing is to check for doneness. Because of the parchment lining and the three layers, it’s hard to know if the bottom layer is fully done. Be sure to check with a butter knife. If you see any wet dough, bake for longer. It’s worth the few extra minutes to get a full pan of yumminess!