spring has officially sprung here in new york.
but before we get into that… i want to take a second to comment on the fact that this is my first blog post in about two months. i just want to say a big thank you to everyone who emailed me or sent some other sort of message to make sure everything was okay. it’s really easy to feel like these blog posts don’t matter, or like no one is paying attention… and it felt good to know that some people are really listening. so thanks, guys! for real.
now, back to the issue at hand. it is spring. finally. the coats are hibernating in the closet and the flip flops are out, and it feels pretty darn good. so it only feels appropriate to share a fruit-based recipe to celebrate.
these bars are like blueberry pie, but in an easier-to-eat format. they are sweet, fresh, and light – the shortbread crust and topping is flakey and crumbly, and the blueberry filling is beautifully juicy, creamy, and jam-like. and the touch of lemon adds the perfect brightness to make them perfect for the start of spring.
- 1½ cups sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup cold earth balance (or butter), cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 5 cups frozen or fresh blueberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)
- preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- in a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, flour, salt, and lemon zest. using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work in the earth balance until it is in chunks the size of small peas. add the egg and stir with a fork until the moisture is evenly distributed throughout.
- press half of the dough into the prepared baking pan to form a smooth crust.
- in a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar with the cornstarch. add the lemon juice and stir to combine. add the blueberries and toss until they are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.
- pour the blueberry mixture on top of the prepared crust, then crumble the rest of the crust mixture over the top.
- bake 50-60 minutes, until the topping is golden. let the bars cool completely in the pan before removing them and cutting them into bars.