Saturday, July 4, 2009

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

I wanted something red white and blue for the Fourth of July and had blueberries and rhubarb so decided to make it happen using my new book The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle which I got with one of the gift cards we got at the wedding. So far I have been quite pleased with the book, and these bars are definitely worth repeating even though they didn't quite fit the red white and blue theme I originally envisioned.

The base is brown sugar short bread that is topped with berries then topped with a crumb topping. The original recipe only called for blueberries, but I wanted the rhubarb so I split the difference, 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 sliced rhubarb. The center of the bars didn't seem to set up quite right, but I'm not sure if that's because rhubarb has more liquid than blueberries, or whether that's just the way the bars are.

The only slight quibble I have with the recipe is that it dirties a lot of dishes. The base is made in the food processor, the blueberry filling dirties a bowl, and the crumb topping dirties yet another bowl. Is it really a big deal? Probably not, but also not the quickest and easiest thing to throw together at the last minute on a hot summer day.

Brown Sugar Crust #2
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
11 tbsp cold unsalted butter but into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Place the flour, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter, about 6 seconds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract until blended. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and process for a few seconds, just until the dough is blended but still crumbly. Do not allow the dough to form a ball around the blade or the crust will be tough.

With lightly floured hands press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.

Blueberry Crumble Toppins
blueberry filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground gingre
2 cups blueberries (or 1 cup blueberries and 1 cup rhubarb)

Crumb topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsps unsalted butter, melted

Make the filling:
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger. Add the blueberries and toss to coat well. Spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust.

Make the topping:
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt until blended. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture comes together. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the blueberry filling.

Bake for 48 to 50 minutes until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling. Cool the bars completely in ahte pan on a wire rack.


burkie said...

where's the "white?" :)

looks good, maddie!

biscuitpusher said...

yeah... the white didn't come through quite like I wanted it to. I thought about throwing some whipped cream on there, but then I didn't feel like bothering with it anymore.

Sweetie said...

the rhubarb and blueberries make for a pretty tie-dye look. i've never been able to do 1 bowl even when a recipe written as such since i measure out all the ingredients into separate bowls during prep.

Elizabeth said...

These look so good; love the colors of the red and blue together. Thanks for sharing this.