Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blueberry Crumb Bars

This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken and grass-fed lamb cuts from Fair Valley Farm, handcrafted vegan hazelnut cheese from Avellana Creamery, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings: 

Blueberries by the pint, half flat, and flat (make these crumb bars below)
Lots of tomatoes (Romas and red, yellow, and orange slicers, make gazpacho)
Eggplants, bell peppers, jalapeños, anaheim and poblano chile peppers
Baby beets, new potatoes, and broccoli
Carrots, summer squash, and cucumbers (make some Pad Thai)
Chard, collard greens, and kale
Garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass
Lettuce, including ready-to-eat bagged mix (make BLTs)
Cherries and Blenheim apricots (from Washington)

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill

This is the height of blueberry season, and the time to undertake baking projects with big quantities of blueberries. With our last batch of Sweetwater Farm berries, I tried out this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, recommended by my sister, for blueberry crumb bars

The great thing about this recipe is that you make a big pile of crumbled buttery flour (I used a food processor for this) which serves as both the crust and the crumb of your bars. Then you just toss your berries in a bit of sugar (I used less than the recipe because these berries are so sweet), some lemon juice, and some thickened (I used tapioca flour, which I have for these), layer everything together, and bake.

These bars make a delicious afternoon snack for a hot summer day, accompanied by a glass of ice coffee.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

from Smitten Kitchen, yield 36 smallish rectangles

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cold unsalted 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
 (reduce to 1/3 cup for sweet berries)
4 teaspoons cornstarch (or substitute tapioca flour)

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. This can also be done by pulsing in a food processor. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch or tapioca flour and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares. These are easiest to cut once chilled, and store even better in the fridge than they do at room temperature.

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