Blueberry-Lemon Crumb Bars

One of my favorite things about summer is having berries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I buy berries I usually tend to lean towards strawberries, but this week when I saw how plump and colorful the blueberries were, I couldn’t resist. I immediately knew I was going to bake with them. There is something about their flavor that gets even better in the oven. Am I right? I will warn you though, these bars aren’t overly sweet. Instead, the hint of lemon adds some acidity and helps highlight the slightly tart flavor of the berries. The result? A mouth full of summery goodness. 

Blueberry-Lemon Crumb Bars

Ingredients
Crust/topping:
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold

1 c. + 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
¼ tsp. salt

Filling:
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4½ c. fresh blueberries
½ c. + 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
4½ tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan (baking Pam works great).
2. To prepare the crust/topping: in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter and egg until the dough becomes crumbly. With your hands, pat half of dough into the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
3. To prepare the filling: in a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Carefully fold in blueberries, making sure to coat the berries evenly. Pour the blueberry mixture over the crust. Adjust any blueberries that are out of place, filling in “holes.” Evenly sprinkle remaining topping over the berry layer.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and the blueberries bubble. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool (about 30 minutes). Cut into bars or squares when cool.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen- Blueberry Crumb Bars | Makes approximately 24 bars