The onset of winter marks the berry season in India. While lovely tart berries are associated with summer and summer food in most of the world, in India we best enjoy them during the cold months.
So, these few months are the best time to eat and bake with berries. And, at a time when the internet is swarming with warm spice-laden recipes for the winters and the holiday season, I wanted to give it a brief break and share a refreshing yet comforting recipe with you guys.
However, I’m back to resume in-person classes at my university soon and between my home bakery, recipe videos and the blog, I had barely enough time to come up with a recipe, and shoot it. But I did. And it was so delicious.
This recipe is for blueberry crumble bars. These blueberry crumble bars are insanely buttery, crispy, juicy, tart and sweet. These bars have all of the flavors and textures that one could want in a dessert. And, moreover, they’re crazy simple to make.
This is essentially a one bowl recipe that requires no special equipment. It just might be the simplest and the most homely baking recipe ever.
And the flavor of these blueberry crumble bars is honestly unmatched. You get a crunchy and buttery crumble that sandwiches juicy fresh blueberries which have become jammy in the oven.
What goes into the blueberry crumble bars?
These blueberry crumble bars are truly humble and require the most basic kitchen ingredients.
There’s essentially only two components to this recipe. The crumble and the blueberries.
We will be making a crumble with all-purpose flour, rolled oats, caster sugar, melted salted butter, an egg, and some salt for taste.
Some of the crumble is going to be packed down at the bottom of the baking tin so it becomes almost like a shortbread biscuit base. We will then use the remaining crumble to top the blueberries which will give the bars a beautiful crisp texture.
Coming to the blueberries, you only need some fresh blueberries, which have been washed and dried, and you’ll toss them in some lemon juice and sugar and let it sit while you make the crumble.
The lemon juice will sort of break down the blueberries and when you bake the blueberry crumble bars, the blueberries are going to pop and become gooey and jammy.
The tart blueberries paired with the luscious buttery crumble is the best combination.
What equipment do I need?
I mentioned earlier that this is the simplest recipe to make, and it requires no special equipment. And, that’s true.
You only need two bowls, one large mixing bowl to make the crumble, and a smaller one to macerate your blueberries in.
Apart from that you’ll need a tool to help you make the crumble, this could be a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, or a silicone spatula, anything goes. You can use the same spoon to macerate your blueberries.
Lastly, you’ll need an 8x8 inch baking pan and some parchment paper to bake the blueberry crumble bars.
Recipe for the easiest blueberry crumble bars
Yields: One 8x8 inch slab
Time: 45 minutes
200 grams (1 ½ cup) all-purpose flour
70 grams (1 cup) rolled oats
4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
130 grams (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) caster sugar, plus 30 grams (2 tablespoons) more for the blueberries
1 large egg
112 grams (½ cup) melted butter
250 grams (1 ¼ cup) blueberries, washed and dried
15 grams (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C, butter an 8x8 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving overhangs on the side. Dust the pan with a little bit of plain flour and set it aside.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the blueberries, lemon juice and the smaller part of caster sugar. Set it aside and make the crumble.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, salt, and remaining caster sugar with a spoon.
Crack in the egg and mix, the mixture should look dry and scraggly with a few wet spots.
Add the melted butter and mix again, you should be able to see the crumble form. Remove the spoon, and use your hands to bring the flour and butter together to form the crumble.
The crumble should resemble giant buttery lumps and should be able to hold its shape if you press it together.
Add roughly two-thirds of the crumble to the prepared baking pan and press it down evenly to form the base.
Then, add the macerated blueberries and spread them evenly over the crumble base.
Lastly, sprinkle the remaining crumble over the blueberries, press it down ever so slightly.
Bake the blueberry crumble bars in the preheated oven at 180°C for 30-35 minutes until the top is lightly golden and you can see blueberries oozing from between the gaps in the crumble bars.
Let the blueberry crumble bars cool fully in the baking pan, and then lift them out using the parchment paper. Cut it into desired shapes and serve. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they’ll be good for 4-5 days. You can also warm them for 20 seconds before eating.
If you can’t find blueberries or just don’t like them, you can replace them with any other berry like strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. You can adapt the recipe as it is, it works for all of the berries.