Monday, April 27, 2020

Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars

Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars, blueberry bars, shortbread bars, blueberry pie bars, blueberry crumb bars, high altitude baking,With the exception of my youngest son's birthday cake last weekend, I haven't been baking or decorating any new cakes lately.  I miss it, but with no one to eat them (I send most everything to my husband's work), it seems too wasteful to do much recipe testing until things get somewhat back to normal.

Instead, I've been stocking our freezer with things like cookies, banana bread and no-churn ice cream for our boys, with the occasional batch of muffins, pancakes or crumbly cookie bars.  These blueberry almond crumb bars are a bit like getting to eat blueberry pie, but the process is much quicker and easier than making pie.

I started by cooking blueberry filling on the stove until it was thick and jammy, then letting it cool slightly while I assembled the crust and topping ingredients.  I used frozen wild blueberries, but regular blueberries are great, too.  I absolutely love using frozen blueberries for pies and fillings - they taste just as fresh, and of course, are much less expensive than fresh berries.  A bit of nutmeg and vanilla enhances the flavor, and you could even let the filling cool and spread it on toast, spoon it over vanilla ice cream or use it as a filling in a cake.

The crumble ingredients serve as the crust and the topping, and they're a simple mix of flour, sugar, salt, almond paste, butter and chopped almonds.  I think that toasted pecans would be great in place of the almonds.  To make these nut-free, the almond paste and chopped almonds could be left out without affecting the recipe at all, or you could add a handful of oats instead of the almonds for a little crunch.





Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars, blueberry bars, shortbread bars, blueberry pie bars, blueberry crumb bars, high altitude baking,

Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars, blueberry bars, shortbread bars, blueberry pie bars, blueberry crumb bars, high altitude baking,

Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars, blueberry bars, shortbread bars, blueberry pie bars, blueberry crumb bars, high altitude baking,

Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars, blueberry bars, shortbread bars, blueberry pie bars, blueberry crumb bars, high altitude baking,





Blueberry Almond Crumb Bars
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Filling.
  • 1 pound frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crust and Topping.
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 ounces almond paste, grated or crumbled
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
Filling.
In a saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, corn starch and nutmeg.  Over medium low heat, warm the blueberries until they thaw and begin to get juicy.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.  Once the juices thicken, cook for one full minute before removing from the heat.  Stir in the vanilla.

Set the filling aside to cool while you make the crust.

Crust and Topping.
Preheat the oven to 350, and line an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and almond paste.  Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until moistened and crumbly.  Stir in the almonds.

Measure half the crumb mixture into the pan and press firmly against the bottom of the pan.  Refrigerate the other half of the crumb mixture to reserve for the topping.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes.

Stir up the filling and spread evenly over the hot crust.  Sprinkle the filling with the remaining crumble mixture.  Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 28-30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.  These are best eaten within 1-2 days.

Yields 16 squares

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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