Welcome to “Berry Week” here on my blog and on In the Kitchen with Mama Steph on KLTV7, friends! I love this time of year; the Farmer’s Markets are open, the stores have gorgeous berries on the shelves, and the price of produce begins to come down. Those are all good things! I noticed the price of a package of raspberries was $2 less this week than they were two weeks ago. Nice!
I also picked up a huge container of fresh blueberries for a couple of dollars in my local grocery store. I was so excited about that, as blueberries are special to me on many levels. First, they hold a fond memory of my mom for me, as they were her absolute favorite fruit! She loved blueberry season, and our local pastor and friend, Ron Wagner, grew (and still grows) his own berries, and would bring mom many pounds of them every summer. She loved making muffins, pancakes, pies, etc. with them, and putting some up in the freezer to enjoy in the winter. So blueberries always make me think of mom.
Not only are they sweet and sentimental, they are super-charged with antioxidants for your health. They are known to prevent cancers when taken in sufficient amounts. They are a superfruit that you should have on hand as often as possible. Picking season (here in Texas) is in June – August. Get ready to take your children on a fun outing to a local blueberry farm in June; it’s not hard to do, you can pick as many or as few as you like, and some of the farms have fun country stores to browse through, as well.
Today’s recipe is from a beautiful food blog, Smitten Kitchen. I saw these on her blog and knew it would be a great recipe to have on hand: quick to put together, pretty, and delicious-looking. I gave it a shot! Here is how they turned out:
Blueberry Crumb Bars
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups plain flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with butter.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and baking powder. Add salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Press half of dough into the prepared pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Fold 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. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
5. These bars are best kept chilled in the refrigerator.
These bars are so simply made, and have such a pretty appearance and lovely taste, you’ll want to keep berries on had all year ’round! Enjoy!