July 4th weekend already? Summer seems to be moving too fast for my taste so I’m going to carve out some time this weekend to make this ‘fresh’ version of one of my fave bar cookies from The Everyday Baker. This is another “mash-up” recipe but unlike the Strawberry Mousse Cake “mash-up” which blended three recipes from the book in a new way, I’ve added a NEW, fresh fruit filling for the Strawberry Crumble-Topped Bars on page 187 of The Everyday Baker. I’m using blueberries as they are looking mighty plump and delicious at my market but feel free to use the ripest berries you find at your local grocery and farmers’ market.
Happy 4th and remember that Everyday is a great day for baking!
Notes from my kitchen:
- The bars are best served the same day but can be baked, cooled completely, covered, and stowed at room temperature for up to 1 day before serving. Leftovers are delicious for breakfast.
- Instead of using blueberries in the filling, substitute the same amount (use the weight for best results) of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or a combo of all or some.
For Your Reference: Here are The Everyday Baker page numbers for the essential techniques you’ll be using in this recipe. Take a look in the book before you start baking.
- For more about ingredients and equipment, see p. 5 thru 28.
- For more about measuring and mixing dry ingredients, see p. 32 and p. 570.
- For more about lining a straight-sided pan with foil, see p. 135.
- For more about scraping the bowl and beater, see p. 289.
- For more about mixing butter and flour together until the butter is pea- sized, see p. 80.
- For more about layering the dough and crumbles, see p. 188
- For more about cutting bar cookies, see p. 167
Lemony Fresh Blueberry Bars with Chunky Almond Crumble
Makes sixteen 2-inch (5 cm) squares
Following the recipe for Strawberry Crumble-Topped Bars on page 187 of The Everyday Baker, we’ll be using a fresh blueberry filling in place of the jam and adding coarsely chopped almonds to the topping. Here’s the recipe for the blueberry filling along with the amount
Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, for the pan
For the fresh blueberry filling
1/3 cup (2 3/8 oz./ 67 g) granulated sugar
2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of table salt
2 cups (10 oz./ 283 g) blueberries, rinsed, picked over and well dried
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
To make the filling:
Put the sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Add about 1/4 of the berries and the lemon zest and, using a fork, mash and stir the berries until the flour mixture is blended into the berry pulp. It will look pasty and very thick. Add the remaining blueberries and stir until evenly coated. Set aside while making the crust and crumble and use in place of the strawberry jam when assembling.
For the crust and crumble:
See The Everyday Baker, p. 187, for ingredients and instructions
Instead of the walnuts, add 3/4 to 1 cup (3 to 4 oz./ 85 to 113 g) lightly toasted whole almonds, very roughly chopped.