I’ve been in berry-picking mood this year. About a month ago, I picked strawberries and raspberries.
Then, I saw blueberries come out in the stores and on the blogs and I wanted to go pick some. It actually took a fair bit of time to find a place nearby. Most locations are all about 1 hour away.
Luckily, I went to the farmer’s market last week and saw a blueberry stand. They gave out directions for their farm (about 20 minutes away) where the prices for blueberries would be 1/2 what they charge for ready-picked ones.
I learned a new trick. When picking berries, get a rope and tie the basket around your waist so that you can have both hands free to pick. My technique was to find larger bunches of ripe berries and lightly pull them off of the vine with my right hand and collect them in my left hand. It seemed to speed the process up. The mosquitoes were going crazy for me. Plus, the farmers had a sensor set up so that anyone/anything that set off the sensor would result in a loud (ear-plug worthy) shrill that resembled a tortured bird sound. Apparently it’s to keep the birds away from the blueberries.
Now, with 4L of blueberries in my kitchen sink (I would have picked more if the conditions were more pleasant), begins the process of using up the blueberries.
I’ve had Smitten Kitchen's Blueberry Crumble Bars in my reader since she posted it. Smitten Kitchen has a beautiful blog with a mixture of excellent recipes. Also check out Giz's Chicken and Mushroom Marsala (it seems to be Smitten Kitchen week here at Equal Opportunity Kitchen). After my previous royal screw up with her Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, I have been bound and determined to find success with a Smitten Kitchen recipe. Here is the recipe as it appears on her website:
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 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. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan (1st layer).
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 (2nd layer). Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer (3rd layer).
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
It worked! It’s delicious. The berries give a nice tartness, combined with the lemon flavour, these bars would be great with tea, for breakfast, a snack, light dessert.
Also check Katie's squares – I guess great minds think alike. :)
I'm submitting this recipe to Ruth's Bookmarked Recipes.