Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blueberry-Oatmeal Crumble Bars

Less than 5 miles from our house is a pick-your-own blueberry farm.  Two years ago, I met up with a few friends and our kids for a morning of blueberry picking.  I had visions of coming home with gallons and gallons of freshly picked berries - what would I possibly do with them all??  Instead, the berries were scarce, the sun was hot, and the kids were cranky.  To say it was an utter failure would be a total understatement.  To put it in perspective, we picked berries for almost 2 hours, and I paid 60 cents for my "bounty."  We all agreed then and there that we'd never do that again.  From then on, I vowed to do my berry picking at the the grocery store or farmer's market.

But this year I decided to give it another go.  Blueberries are Caroline's favorite fruit, and now that she's a bit older, I thought that she might enjoy picking her own berries.  But this time I planned better.  We set out quite a bit earlier, and since it had rained the night before, the weather was nice and cool.  In probably 5 minutes, I had picked more berries than I did the entire time before.  There were plenty down on Caroline's level, and she had her own bucket for collecting them.  We picked and picked, and eventually Caroline got tired of it, because she dumped out her bucket and filled it up with leaves and twigs instead.  Oh well.  I ended up picking almost 2 pounds in just under an hour, which was plenty for some baking and snacking.

We came right home and made these bars.  I wanted to find an egg-free treat that Caroline could not only help me bake, but that she could enjoy as well.  These were a cinch to throw together, and we had a fun time making them.  They reminded me a bit of Nutrigrain bars, and Caroline of course loved them.  I think these would be great with any combination of berries or fruit, and I can't wait to try them in the fall with apples or pears - you know, that I pick myself of course. ;-)

Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars
adapted from Baking Bites

Blueberry Filling
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
Crumble and Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened and cut into 7-9 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the filling, combine the berries and the lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the berries are soft and tender, 8-10 minutes.  Add the sugar and cornstarch to the berries, and bring to a boil.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

To a food processor, add all the ingredients for the crust and crumble topping.  Pulse in 1-second intervals until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping, then press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Use a spoon to drop dollops of the berry filling over the crust, and use a spatula to spread the mixture over the entire surface.

Use your fingers to squeeze together clumps of the remaining crumble topping, and sprinkle evenly over the berry filling.

Bake until golden-brown, 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool completely before slicing and serving, or serve cobbler-style by scooping with a spoon.


Becki (Becki's Whole Life) said...

This is a great way to use up some of the blueberries in my fridge right now! I love a crumble - yum!

Anonymous said...

These sound perfect! Beautiful recipe.

Krissy said...

Looks great, they do sound like they would be delicious with other fruits too!

Made in Sonoma said...

Crumb bars are one of my favorite treats. These look delicious.

ErinsFoodFiles said...

They look scrumptious! Already bookmarked for future baking. :D

Ana said...

Haha! We just had the same experience... it was very hot and all the blueberries had been picked over. We'll give it a try next year. These look delicious!

Megs Everyday Indulgence said...

Blueberries are my little guy's favorite too! And he loves Nutrigrain bars...I will have to give these a try!

Unknown said...

These bars look really good.

Unknown said...

Picking berries right from the blueberry patch - wow, I love that idea of you with you little friend! These looks delish, I just bought 4 pints at the store (wish I could have been in the patch with you) Thanks, Chris

Barb said...

In the blueberry mix you said to add sugar to the blueberries and to the cornstarch but there was only one amount of sugar 1/2cup. What is the correct amount for the thickner?
Thanks for the great recipes

Josie said...

Hi Barb,
Thanks for catching that. I corrected the recipe to say "combine the blueberries and lemon juice." The sugar is added with the cornstarch later. Hope that makes sense!

Mandy @ Cater to Me said...

These look great! I love that they taste like Nutrigrain bars - those are my favorite!

Carolyn Jung said...

I made something similar this summer with dried cherries. Totally irresistible with that sweet fruity filling and that buttery crumble top. Can't wait to try it with blueberries now.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and I picked your blueberry crumble recipe and intend to cook soon. Sure it will be delicious. Thank you Josie.

Gisele (Canada)

Anonymous said...

These look just like the ones at Starbucks which are so delicious - can't wait to try these out!

Grain sorter said...

I can’t wait to try this recipe! Sounds wonderful!!

Alaena said...

Looks yummy! I was wondering - would you happen to know what the measurement for zest of 1/2 a lemon would be? I'm one of those crazy people who likes things precise! :D

Rachel @ Bakerita said...

Yum! I have a pan of these sitting on my dorm desk right now...heaven!
I needed a use for the blueberries I picked this weekend and these were perfect.
Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Just made these last week, they were DECLICIOUS! The only issue I had was that the bottom layer never really hardened and they were a bit delicate while eating. Any suggestions for this?

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