Life’s been a blur. As in, the past week has been insane. Not in terms of what I’m doing, though; it’s more like what I’m experiencing.
Like I posted in New Friends, I’ve met some people at church and it’s been great hanging out with them! It’s also really nice to have a friend or two at school, even if I only see them for a little bit while we’re in class or studying… and then we go home. Regardless, it’s nice having someone there to laugh with, complain with, walk with; just BE with.
There have been blurs of visiting a new church, meeting new people, trying new things, and starting new projects, as well as the somewhat-stressed blurs of schoolwork and studies.
But something that is constant throughout this chaos is…
(and God, and family, and friends. But…)
FRUIT IS AMAZING and, although it’s not California fruit, Hawaii fruit is so… delicious. And everywhere! As my auntie said, “You don’t eat fruit, Syd. You INHALE FRUIT.”
I’ve been eating apples every day, mangoes when I can, fruit flavored yogurt, pears, pineapple (I pretty much ate the whole pineapple myself… oops! Sorry, not sorry.) and any other fruit thing I can get my hands on. Is it possible to get diabetes from all that fruit sugar? Naw.
So, as the title of this post suggests, I was charged with bringing a dessert for the family’s Father’s Day dinner at my cousins’ house. (Happy belated Father’s Day to any dads reading this!) Hmm… well… I wonder what to make…
I knew one thing for sure: It must include fruit.
And lucky me! Blueberries were on sale at the store! (WHAT!? INCONCEIVABLE.) So my auntie bought three, and I thought, “Well, if they’re there, I guess I have to use them!”
From there, and with the help of Ji-Sun and her wonderful suggestions, I present to you…
Blueberry Crumb Bars!
So light and delicious and fruity, they’re the perfect dessert served with ice cream or plain on any type of day!
The original recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, a delightful blog that looks oh-so-classy. Y’all should bookmark that, by the way.
When I got all my stuff together to start baking an hour and a half before dinnertime, I realized… “Oh hey, we don’t have a lemon… or lemon juice!” Oops, poor planning on my part. In the recipe, lemon adds the tartness that is desired in crumb bars and is usually paired with blueberries to even out the flavor. Without that, what should I use?
Good news! We still have some pineapple!
I used the juice from that to sub for the lemon juice, and for the lemon zest that was originally called for, I used a teensy tiny bit of lemon extract. Worked like a charm!
And I was so flattered when everybody loved them at dinner! I only made half a batch to fill an 8×8 pan, but I should’ve made the full recipe (below) because almost all of it was gone by the end of dinner. This one’s a keeper!
Without further ado….
Blueberry Crumb Bars
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Zest and juice of one lemon; OR 5-6 tbsp fresh pineapple juice and 1 tsp lemon extract
- 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/lemon extract. 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/pineapple 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.
How’d yours turn out?