What happens when you buy a ton of strawberries and blueberries because you’re trying to get more fruit into your diet, but then forget about them because you have a busy week and don’t have time to pack lunch? You get a fridge full of sad, mushy berries, that’s what. Sad, mushy berries that need to be turned into something delicious ASAP before they get really gross.
I had a really delicious raspberry crumb bar at a firm lunch last week. It was one of those generic, slightly-processed tasting desserts filled with jam instead of real fruit, but it was tasty and reminded me how much I enjoy fruity crumb bars. So, when I woke up this morning and discovered all those berries languishing at the bottom of my fridge, I knew exactly what to do with them.
These bars are tender, buttery, and packed with tangy-sweet goodness. Because they’re homemade and packed with real fruit, each bite is a symphony of complex flavors and textures that you can’t get with the store-bought stuff. The crust is buttery and firm (but tender), the fruit filling is tangy-sweet and juicy, and the crumbly topping is sweetly crunchy. I love me some Entemann’s, but these are much, much better.
Mixed Berry Crumb Bars (Adapted from Annie’s Eats recipe)
(Crust and Crumble Topping)
– 1½ cups sugar, divided
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 2 sticks cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces
– 1 large egg
– 1 lb strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup blackberries
– 3 tsp. cornstarch
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
(1) Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.
(2) In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder and flour.
(3) Mix in the salt and lemon juice, and stir together with a fork.
(4) Cut in the butter and egg with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized.
** The mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.
(5) Spread about half of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust. Set aside.
(6) In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the berries with a rubber spatula until combined.
(7) Spread the berry mixture evenly over the crust.
(8) Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the berries.
(9) Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.
(10) Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
** These bars are really good warm, but if you stick them in tupperware and leave ’em out, they’ll get soggy from berry juice and humidity. I recommend keeping these in the fridge, especially since they’re even more delicious when they’re cold!