I have been a slacker in the kitchen this summer. Over the past month I can count the number of meals I have made for my family on two fingers. That's two fingers people. Not hands. Blame it on the heat, the travel or just the lazy days of summer. I'll take lazy. We have been existing on a handful of menu staples from local restaurants, cereal and boxed mac & cheese. All I can say is I am sure my boys are looking forward to fall, cooler weather and less excuses.
I have not, however, completely neglected my oven for the month of August. The oven has been turned to 350 degrees and my counters have seen their fair share of flour. My baking has consisted of breads, cakes, muffins, bars, and cookies. This has been a necessity, seeing that I have been on many a fruit picking spree this summer. If we grow it here in Glastonbury ( and the farms in this town grow just about everything you can think of) then I have picked it. One of the biggest crops here in town are berries and we have picked pounds and pounds of them. Right now we have enough frozen blueberries to get us through until the 2011 crop arrives.
What I love about this recipe is that you can use any kind of fruit. Berries are the easiest, but you could also use apples, peaches or plum (I would cook them down with the sugar and cornstarch before layering onto the bars). With the start of school coming (and already started in the South) who doesn't need a good snack recipe?
Blackberry Crumb Bars
1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks) 1 egg 1/4 teaspoon salt Zest and juice of one lemon 4 cups fresh blackberrries (or blueberries, raspberries, etc) 1/2 cup sugar 4 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees P. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or your hands (I find they work the best!) to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the berries. Sprinkle the berry 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. (This took an extra 5 to 10 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.
I am a food obsessed mother and wife. Nothing makes me happier than talking about, reading about, growing, cooking and eating GOOD food, either by myself or with others (including my 4 year old food obsessed son, and my 8 month old daughter who is already a foodie). I started this blog to be able to share kitchen and grocery shopping tips, recipes and photos of what is going on in my kitchen. I hope it inspires you to enjoy good food!