Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blueberry Picking & Blueberry Crumble Bars

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.

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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 egg
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.

Final Product


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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.


Beth said...

I had this one bookmarked too. Haven't made it yet though. Looks fab. May use blackberries as they are just coming into season here.

Adam said...



Those blueberries are amazing. They are the perfect blue, and look totally at home in that crumble. I love it.

There were sensors? That's more high tech than I ever thought. Oh, and here's another tip. Sometimes if you pick blueberries for the farmer... he'll give you a discount. I do that with strawberries.

Darius T. Williams said...

I saw Katie's post already. You're right, great minds must think alike. So these look good. I wish I could find a farm near me...I'd so go and pick some food.


kat said...

Oh luscious! I just made blueberry tarts last night and am now craving all things blueberry!

Deborah said...

I would love to have a place nearby to pick blueberries. And I have heard really good things about these bars - they are a blogger favorite right now!

white on rice couple said...

OMG, this is just blueberry heaven! Wish we had a farm close by to pick them! I know for sure that most of them would end up in my mouth before they made it to the scale!
The bars and all your photographs are beautiful examples of blueberry love!

nicisme said...

That looks delicious, I'm really into blueberries at the moment!

OhioMom said...

Lovely pics! I would have devoured half before I got home, the bars look really good.

noble pig said...

Those look decadent but their health food right?

So beautiful with that crumble business going on.

Kevin said...

Those blueberry crumb bars look so good!

Bunny said...

I love the color of the berries whe they're baked!! these look wonderful. You will have enough berries to last you a long time!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

I just made those exact same blueberrie crumb bars this weekend! That is such a funny coincidence. I saw it on smitten kitchen, and had deceded to make it. I didnt take any pictures, but it looks like exactly the same as yours turned out. So yummy!

Grace said...

oh, the purple ooziness of it all. how gorgeous. when i'm in a berry-picking mood, blueberries are definitely the berry of choice. not only are they downright delicious (i eat more than i put into my bucket), but there are no thorns to battle! it's win-win. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

These are some luscious bars - I love berries of all kinds!

Jenny said...

How pretty! I've been so into buying berries lately, this looks like the perfect way to enjoy them!!

SA Kids Editor said...


I saw your Winne the Pooh photo and had to come visit. I love the blueberry crumble bars! I'm ready for lunch at 10 a.m.!

The Blonde Duck said...

Sorry! I'm Sakids.editor. I accidently left a comment with my work e-mail running! I'm really the Blond Duck.

kitchenetta said...

I just love blueberries, and your photos are so inviting. You really captured the blueberry essence. Looks like another great recipe to bookmark. So many recipes, so little time!

Jude said...

Very cool progression in the photos. Always fun to find alternatives to bluberry muffin baking.

RecipeGirl said...

I'm so, so completely jealous and envious of you. There just isn't anywhere around my parts where you can pick blueberries. I hope to be able to do that someday.

The crumble bars look mouthwatering. I'm diggin' all of the blueberry recipes on the blogs right now!

Cakelaw said...

This is the second blueberry crumble bar recipe I've seen tonight (different from the one you've referenced) - and they both look amazing. Those berries are mouth-watering - I have to confess I had no idea what blueberries looked like on the bush until I saw your photos - I have only seen the end result.

Krysta said...

i screwed up the lemon yogurt anything cake too and i haven't made anything with blueberries since. i wish we had a blueberry farm around here.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Oh I have to make these (they look so wonderful) but I'll use blackberries, they're in season here and I can go blackberry picking locally. Excellent thank you!

Dana McCauley said...

Yummy stuff! If you have any berries left I hope you'll try my white chocolate blueberry cheesecake:


Psychgrad said...

beth - blackberries would be excellent as well. Maybe a bit more tart.

adam - That's a pretty sweet deal. Interestingly, I saw a busload of workers from Jamaica picking strawberries. They work long days - I'm assuming it's profitable for them.

DTW - you can check online for picking sites in your area.

kat - they're addictive, aren't they?

deborah - funny how certain things get picked up around the blogs.

white on rice - thanks! The good thing about berry picking is that the sites expect you to fill up on the berry while picking.

niscisme - It's a mixed blessing. As all of these fruits come into season, it reminds me that we're nearing the end of summer. At least in his part of the world.

ohiomom - I make sure to put 3/4 in the freezer right away. R takes them for lunches.

noble pig - ummm...yeah - health food. I mean - they're not terrible for you, but they're not fat free.

bunny - you would think, but they're almost gone now.

jessy - there are at least 4 or 5 of us who did!

grace - yes, thorns are an issue. I pricked myself a few times picking raspberres. But the blueberries had more bug.

blonde duck - welcome to the blog! I'm Giz's daughter, Psychgrad. Giz wishes she made this recipe, but alas - she is up to her ears in boxes.

kitchenetta - thanks! I know what you mean.

jude - muffins definitely have their place, but sometimes you want something a little lighter, like a square.

recipegirl - I see that many people don't life near berry-picking sites. I guess that is one nice thing about living in Ontario. In the summer, it's pretty easy to get local produce.

cakelaw - I didn't really know either.

krysta - good to know that I wasn't alone with the mess up.

culinarytravels - you and beth should get together and share blackberry results.

dana - thanks for the referral to your recipe. I definitely like getting a heads up about recipe/events.

Personally, I'm not a big cheesecake fan - or at least, I tell myself that in order to avoid eating it.

Half Baked said...

I bookmarked this one too! looks really tasty:)

Rosie said...

oh this is just absolutely gorgeous!! A stunning crumble bar if ever i've seen!!

Rosie x

SweetDesigns said...

HOLY SMOKES!! What am I gonna do with some of those Blue Berries in my freezer?? Make those bars..omg they look amazing!!!

Lori said...

So funny, I made these the night I picked blueberries. The fourteenth. I am going to post on it today. SO Funny. Hey great minds think alike. They go down so easy dont they?

Ruth Elkin said...

These are fantastic treats psychgrad! I love crumble bars.

Thanks for sending this into bookmarked recipes.