May 3, 2010

Blueberry and Blackberry Crumb Bars

We eat a lot of berries in our house.... I mean A LOT.... Something about the near taste of summer, and all of a sudden our fridge is filled with pints of fresh berries (I am not complaining). Although frozen berries will get you through the winter, there is nothing better than fresh, ripe, berries.

Another new favorite of mine is lemons.... I used to be more of a chocolaty person than fruity, but after I had Emory I seemed to crave fruity desserts. I think that the hint of lemon zest and/or juice really brightens up ANY fruit dessert, from your average crumble to a fruit pie. It is kind of like the way that espresso seems to brighten and enhance the depth and flavors of chocolate. This recipe is so easy to make, I almost thought I was doing it wrong, but as soon as I pulled these (crumbly, lemon scented, and oozing with berries) bars out of the oven, I knew everything was just perfect! I used the base of the recipe from Smitten Kitchen's website, but as usual I jazzed it up a bit to make it my own. The original recipe calls for blackberries, which I planned on using until I realized there was not enough blackberries in my fridge (that's what happens when you forget you are using them for your recipe, and eat half a pint with your morning yogurt). Needless to say, I had a pint of blueberries in the fridge as well, so I mixed the two berries, and I am so glad I did.

The bars are buttery and tangy from the berries, but with a hint of brightness from the lemon, and the perfect sweetness in the crust. So Good! I am still experimenting with photography (I need some major lessons), but pictures do not do justice of how good these are.

Blueberry and Blackberry Crumb Bars
If you do not have fresh berries, you can always use frozen, but fresh is best. Feel free to switch it up with your favorite berries, I think raspberries would also be excellent! These bars are easier to cut once they have cooled, and chilled in the fridge. I wrapped mine individually in parchment, and took them to our family BBQ, and they were wonderful!
For the dough
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into tablespoon size slices
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon (reserve lemon for berry filling)

For the Berry filling
4 cups fresh berries (I used blackberries and blueberries)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons of cornstarch
juice of reserved lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. In a food processor (or you can use a pastry cutter to cut everything together, but I find a food processor so much easier), pulse sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest until incorporated. Place the cold butter slices and egg into the flour mix and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly. Do not over-mix. Pat half of the dough into the greased pan, and reserve the rest for the top.

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and fresh lemon juice. Gently fold in berries, and place mixture on top of the patted dough. Top with the rest of the dough, and place in pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes until the top is lightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. 


  1. Loving this Miss! oh man, and I just bought a bunch of fresh berries, guess I'll have to use them up! I'll let you know when I make them!

  2. Thanks! Let me know how they turn out for you, or if you have thought of new ideas for it!