October 13, 2009
I made these blueberry-lemon crumb bars a few weeks back for snack at work. As I’ve repeated over and over, I cannot get enough of citrusy desserts, so this recipe, originally found on Recipe Girl, went right to the top of must-bake desserts.
I’m not disappointed in the dessert – I love the sweet yet still tart lemon cream. It’s great on its own, and it stands well with all the blueberries. The crust is thick and buttery…this dessert has all the elements to be great.
However, I think the amounts of these elements have to be balanced a bit better. I found there was too much topping – combined with the crust, there was just too much flour and not enough lemon and blueberry. I had upped the amount of condensed milk and lemon juice, but next time, I’ll probably double the amount of lemon filling. Same thing with the blueberries! I found that the blueberry flavour was dominated by both the lemon and the sweet crumble topping.
People did like this dessert (myself included). It just needs some fine tuning for the next time, and these bars will earn themselves top dessert status.
Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling
adapted from Recipe Girl
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg, separated
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries (about 13 oz.), washed and drained on paper towels
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9×13-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the ends. Spray foil with cooking spray- bottom and sides of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers), blend the butter completely into the flour mixture. Transfer 2 cups of the crumb mixture to another bowl and reserve for the topping.
3. Blend the egg white into the remaining crumbs and then press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form a level crust. Use the bottom of a flat, wide glass to tap the mixture and even it out.
4. Bake the crust 10-12 minutes, or until it starts to form a dry top.
5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk condensed milk, lemon juice & zest, and egg yolk. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes (it will begin to thicken).
6. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over hot crust and then drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries. Spread gently with a spatula to distribute as evenly as you can. Bake until lemon mixture begins to form a shiny skin- 7 to 8 minutes.
7. Sprinkle reserved crumble topping over the lemon-blueberry layer, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle. Bake until filling is bubbly at the edges and the topping is brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
8. Let bars cool in the pan on a rack until just warm, about an hour. Carefully lift them out of the pan using the foil overhang and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove foil and cut into 24 bars when cool. (If you have time to chill the bars, they’re easier to cut cleanly when chilled).
*The bars may be stored at room temperature for a few hours, but otherwise should be stored in the refrigerator.
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