When blueberries make their first appearance at the market we eat them all before we even leave the market. But after a few weeks, we’re able to get a few cups into the kitchen.
These bars are a perfect picnic dessert or a casual dessert for a backyard BBQ or potluck because you don't need a plate or fork. (The very same quality that made these disappear in record time from the counter which sits just above the utensil drawer and below the plate cabinet, so proceed with caution.) I once heard them called Blueberry Boy Bait and now must assume that everyone I know might be considered a boy, as it caught everyone nearby. Blueberry season is just now ending (sigh, every year it goes faster) which means the next time I try this will be with frozen blueberries.
We didn’t have four cups of blueberries left (ahem) when we started cooking (that stroll through the farmer’s market could make anyone starved) so we made this with 3 cups of berries and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly and filled an 8x8 instead of a 9x13. Other than wishing there was more, the recipe was forgiving and adjusted to our last-minute changes. Below, is Deb’s original quantities. But, if you’re anything like me and might on occasion “accidentally” eat too many berries while the oven heated, the recipe will understand and it was very forgiving with my back-of-the-napkin fake math formula (how-do-you-use-¾-of-an-egg-ah-just-put-the-whole-thing-in) approach.
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour*
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon
1 cup/2 sticks (8 ounces or 225 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into smallish chunks
1 large egg
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven 375°.
Grease a 9×13 inch pan. (Tip: use the paper from the sticks of butter if you’ve got them.)
Stir 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
Blend in butter. I use my fingers but a fork or pastry cutter works, too.
Stir in egg. At this point, I use a fork. The dough should be crumbly and look a bit like wet sand.
Spread half of the dough into the prepared pan, pushing into the corners.
Stir together sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in another bowl.
Fold in the blueberries.
Spread the blueberry mixture on top of the first layer of crumbs in the pan.
Top the remaining dough over the blueberries.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown.
Cool in the pan, cut, and enjoy!
The original recipe calls for 390 grams of flour, but I go with King Author’s 120 g per cup rule and have reduced the flour.
Don’t worry if your berries are a little past their prime, the blueberry mixture and cook time makes them the best, jammy versions of themselves.