Sunday, 15 June 2014

Blueberry Crumble Bars

These blueberry crumble bars are so delicious – I urge you to make them because they are REALLY good! The almost biscuity texture of the base perfectly complements the juicy blueberries, which pop and release their beautiful indigo juices when baked.

I have used blueberries but other soft fruits such as raspberries, gooseberries or blackcurrants could be used. This recipe is easily adaptable and a perfect vehicle for taking advantage of whatever fruits are in season. However, there is something about the colour and taste of the blueberries which just works so well here. You could also use apples, pears but you will need to peel, core and slice them before placing them on the base so that the fruit cooks through within the allotted time.

A little splash of lemon juice and the addition of some finely grated lemon zest in the filling really accentuate the taste of the blueberries and make them somehow seem so much fruitier. I have also used lemon juice in the icing which I have used to drizzle over the finished bars. It is not absolutely necessary to ice the finished bars, but I like the bittersweet tang that the lemon icing gives to the finished bars and I also think that it looks beautiful.

My gang can be a little fussy about eating fruits and vegetables, but they absolutely devoured these bars and declared them “yummy”. Believe me they are the harshest of critics and certainly don’t hold back to spare my feelings, so I figure I must be doing something right!


Ingredients:

300g plain flour
½tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
150g butter, slightly softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
Filling:
300g blueberries
25g sugar
2 heaped tsp cornflour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
To finish:
100g icing sugar
Juice of ½ lemon

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan Oven 170C/Gas Mark 5. Line a 30cm x 20cm traybake tin with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix through. Add the softened butter and egg and using a wooden spoon mix into the flour mixture until you have a soft crumbly dough. Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared tin, pressing down with the tips of your fingers.
3. Separately, mix the blueberries, sugar, cornflour, lemon zest and juice together in a bowl. Tumble the blueberries onto the dough in the tin and distribute evenly. Drop little nuggets of the remaining dough on top of the blueberries. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the blueberries have popped and released some of their juice and the crumble topping is golden brown. Allow to cool completely in the tin before drizzling over the lemon icing.
To finish:
4. Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl, Drizzle over the cooled blueberry traybake. Allow the icing to set. Cut into 16 - 20 squares.
 
Makes 16-20 squares.