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Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumb Bars! Buttery cornmeal crust is layered with blueberry filling and topped with chunky brown sugar topping. This tasty treat can be made with fresh or frozen berries.

I just love the combination of blueberries and corn. They’re both at their best at the height of the summer. So of course they go together. It’s a match made in heaven.

I’ve used this flavor combination in lots of recipes from my sophisticated Blueberry Cheesecake Tart, to my Blueberry Pie in a flaky cornmeal crust, Blueberry Cornbread Muffins and my favorite Blueberry Cornbread Cobbler.

I also love to top Sweet Corn Ice Cream with homemade Blueberry Preserves for another variation on this theme.

Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Blueberry Crumb Bars:

a food processor filled with ingredients for cornmeal crumb crust
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a fine powder. 2 Add the butter 3. Process until the dough begins to clump.
crumb topping being set into a baking pan
1. Grab the dough to form large clumps and transfer to a bowl. 2. Sprinkle 2/3 of the dough into the pan. 3. Press the dough to an even layer.
a baking pan filled with cornmeal crust and blueberries
1. Bake the crust until it’s set and just beginning to brown around the edges. Pour the blueberries over the pre-baked crust.
blueberry crumb bars before and after baking
Crumble the remaining dough over the blueberries and bake until golden brown and the berries are bubbling.

The key to a great crumb bar is having separate and distinct layers of crust, fruit and crumb topping. How do we ensure three layers that don’t mush together?

Tips for making the best fruit & crumb bar cookies:

  • The butter should be slightly cool, but a little pliable. If the butter is very cold it will be more difficult to cut it into the dry ingredients. If the butter is very soft, it will completely mix in and you won’t get nice large clumps of crumble.
  • Lightly press the bottom crust into an even layer. Don’t pack the bottom layer too densely. You want a light and crisp bottom layer.
  • Pre-bake the bottom layer before adding the fruit. This ensures a distinct and separate bottom crust that doesn’t meld with the fruit.
  • Use a filling that is not too wet. If you’re working with a very watery fruit like rhubarb or strawberries, pre-cook the fruit or use preserves for the filling.
  • Gather the topping into large clumps and then break those into smaller clumps over the fruit filling.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Buttery cornmeal crust is layered with blueberry filling and topped with chunky brown sugar topping. This tasty treat can be made with fresh or frozen berries.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 cups (15oz, 425g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5 oz, 140g) stone ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 225g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups (12oz, 345g) unsalted butter sliced, (see note)

For the Filling

  • 3 heaping cups (18 oz, 510g) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz, 85g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 13" x 9" pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and allow it to hand over the sides for easier removal of the bars.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Mix to combine the ingredients or pulse a few times in the processor.
  3. Toss in the butter and mix with your fingers until the butter bits are no larger than a pea and the dough clumps together when squeezed. If working in a food processor, run until the butter is fully combined and the dough begins to form clumps.
  4. Reserve 1/3 of the dough for the topping. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 of the dough into the pan and and lightly press into an even layer.
  5. Bake 10 minutes until set and beginning to brown.
  6. While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a large bowl, toss together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt.
  7. Sprinkle the blueberries over the pre-baked crust and crumble the remaining dough over the berries.
  8. Bake until golden brown and the berries are soft, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely and cut into 24 bars.

Notes

The butter should be slightly cool, but a little pliable. If the butter is very cold it will be more difficult to cut it into the dry ingredients. If the butter is very soft, it will completely mix in and you won't get nice large clumps of crumbs.

This recipe can be halved and baked in a 9" square pan.

Did you make this recipe?

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