blueberry crumb bars

July 24, 2010

Farmers’ market fare! It’s my favourite. I’ve been really frustrated this summer because I’ve only made it to the market twice before today (read about those trips/recipes here and here). I dream and look forward to the market all spring and then when summer actually arrives I’m so busy living it up at friends’ cabins or being out and about that I just don’t have time to go. Woe is me.

Today I was determined – it’s the first weekend in weeks that I’ve had relatively few plans.

Well my determination was almost scuppered due to an abandoned cat I found en route to the market. The kitty was in a really bad way (couldn’t stand up, super skinny, low, pained mews, dirty, super dehydrated). Cue an hour of phone calls to the university animal hospital, animal humane society, no kill shelters and animal control (who finally came to pick the little lovely up).

Since adopting Juan and Jamal last year I have become a cat lady. No doubt about it.

Anyway. After some bawling from yours truly and a lot of sitting on the tarmac caring for the kitty, finally animal control showed up and promptly eased my fears of them being evil by being super sympathetic and loving. They said they most definitely would only euthanize her if there was no way they could treat her. Happy that she’s in safe hands. It was kind of an overwhelming experience for me. I feel like I need a giant nap.

Instead, I went onwards to the farmer’s market, to brunch with friends and then baked these blueberry crumb bars with my farmer’s market blueberries. It soothed my soul a little. Annnnd that’s my story for the day.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
adapted from smitten kitchen

Note: I halved this recipe since I only had one pint of berries.


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour1 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
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch


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. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch 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.

The stars in these bars (poet) are the lemon and of course the blueberries. I still haven’t mastered the art of the crumb. You can read about my last effort when I made rhubarb crumb cake here. I tend to end up with a bit of big crumb and a lot of small crumbs. Humpf. I will persevere! So I chilled these in the fridge for an hour before cutting them and they were still a bit too crumbly for my liking – guess I’ll have to try again!

I’m heading out for a run and then over to a friend’s house with these in tow. Ta ra!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas July 24, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Those look delicious! I love the combination of blueberry and lemon. It just pops so well


Erica July 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

OH my gosh- poor kitty! You are wonderful for saving its life. So much love to you! And these bars look FANTASTIC! I want to try making them with blackberries (as Josh isn't a blueberry dude). Hooray for the market and a great summer weekend overall


Christina July 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm

oh man that looks sooo good!!! I better make that while the jersey blueberries are still in season! p.s. fig and olive review is up! great place…definitely going back there next time I m in NYC!


loveofbreakfast July 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm

nice bars! i picked up some fresh blueberries at the farmers market today. it took me until the first weekend in july to make it to one. travesty, i know, but weekends do get busy. gotta smush everything into our three nice months of weather ;)


emily (a nutritionist eats) July 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm

These are beautiful and I don't care one bit that your crumbs are too small!
You are also a dear for saving the kitty.


Holly July 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm

i am convinced that adding lemon zest makes anything better. i make these homemade shortcakes with lemon zest – TDF. fo sho.

sorry about the kitty dear – i am glad it had a fabulous person like you to take care of it :)


penny. LA August 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

My mouth was literally watering while looking at the photos… oh my goodness… delicious. I may have to set aside the recipe…


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