Monday, July 12, 2010

Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling

Fine cooking is one of my favorite food magazines.  They constantly have great recipes, tips, and techniques.  One of my favorite issues has a feature on blueberry desserts, and I must have looked at this recipe for Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling a hundred times, saying to myself "You've got to try this recipe."  Well, I finally got around to making them for a co-worker's birthday, and I wish I would have made them sooner.  They were delicious.  The blueberry flavor is quite prominent and goes so well with lemon filling.  And I love the combination of blueberries and lemon.  Another great thing about this recipe is that it is really easy to make, I didn't even have to use my mixer.  So, even though I couldn't seem to get a great picture of these bars, I just had to post this recipe because I loved these bars so much.

Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling
 adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
  • 13-1/2 oz. (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. table salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2-1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries (about 13 oz.), washed and drained on paper towels
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the ends. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using your fingers, blend the butter completely into the flour mixture. Transfer 2 cups of crumb mixture to another bowl and reserve for the topping. Blend the egg white into the remaining crumbs and then press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form a level crust. You can tamp it with the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out. Bake the crust until it starts to form a dry top about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Let this mixture stand for 5 minutes; it will begin to thicken.

Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the hot crust and then drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries. Spread gently with a spatula to distribute a little more evenly, but take care not to crush the berries; it’s fine if the lemon mixture isn’t perfectly even. Bake until the lemon mixture just begins to form a shiny skin, 7 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle the reserved topping over the lemon-blueberry layer, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle. Bake until the filling is bubbling at the edges and the topping is brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the 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 the foil and cut into 24 bars when cool. The bars may be stored at room temperature for a few hours but otherwise should be kept in the refrigerator.

Note: I refrigerated my bars still in the foil, and I had some difficulty removing the bars from the foil once the bars were cold.  It may be better to try and remove the foil once the bars have cooled and before you store them in the refrigerator. 

Look how attentive my dog Riley can be when he wants a treat!  



Danica's Daily said...

Delicious! What an AMAZING combination - lemon+blueberries = pure genius!

Sweet and Savory said...

This sounds fantastic.