Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rhubarb-Blueberry Crumb Bars

There is very little else to say about these things. Holy yum, batman.

Yesterday morning, we decided spur-of-the-moment (ah, summer) to go to Beech Hill Land Trust for their free picking day. I had just discovered this gem of a recipe in the backlogs of Deb's blog, and we set out for the hill with Miles in the ergo, an empty terra cotta plant pot (someone - er herm, me - forgot the pail) and what turned out to be some wild ambitions.

 Four cups of low bush blueberries is SO MANY blueberries! Jesse entertained the little guy (meaning he let him crawl around in the bushes and occasionally dug things out of his mouth) while I picked. And picked. And picked. An hour and a half later, we had about two cups of blueberries and suddenly the idea of blueberry crumb bars wasn't all that exciting anymore.

Except, it was. Oh, how I wanted those sweet, crumby squares of delicious. And then (oh, then!) I remembered - Rhubarb! Miraculously, I still had a few stalks of rhubarb left in the fridge, so they stood in for half the blueberries in this recipe and OH. MY. GOD. I don't know what I would have done without them. Truly, their bright tartness adds such a vibrant high note to the sweet, lush blueberries that I can't stop eating these things. No, really. Someone come and take these away from me. This is a problem.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Zest and juice of one lemon (one healthy squeeze of juice, if you're using the bottled stuff)
2 cups blueberries (I think frozen would work well here, too)
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 and grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. Stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt. Use a fork or pastry cutter (or your hands, but move quick so you don't melt the butter) to blend in the butter. Add the egg and squish. It'll be crumbly, like a loose pie dough.

3. Pat half of dough into the pan.

4. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix in the berries and rhubarb to coat. Sprinkle the filling over the crust.

5. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or so. Top should be LIGHTLY brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares (It's hard, I know, but trust me, they're better cold - although Jesse didn't seem to notice the difference, so do whatever).

Keep these babies in the fridge, but don't do what I did and leave them uncovered (they're even good stale, wow!). After they're cool, cover in tinfoil or in a tupperware to store. If any of them last that long.


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