Blueberry Crumb Bars

Don't feel like fussing with pie but still want a blueberry treat? These crumb bars with their jammy sweet berry filling should do the job nicely!

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups (312 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (198 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the blueberry filling

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Method

1 Preheat the oven and prep the pan: Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and line an 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on two sides.

2 Make the dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt together a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until you get a fine, sandy texture—all of the butter should be incorporated.

Add the egg yolk and pulse until it’s combined, 10 to 15 times. The crumbs should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand. If they do not, sprinkle a tablespoon of water over top and pulse a few more times.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork. It will take longer, but work just fine.

Crumb Bars with Blueberries add the butter Crumb Bars with Blueberries make the crust

3 Refrigerate the crumb topping: Scoop out about 1/3 of the crumb mixture and press it into a bowl, which helps to make larger clumps of crumbs for the topping. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until needed for the topping.

Crumb Bars Recipe with Blueberries press the top crust into a bowl and refrigerate

4 Press the bottom crust into the pan: Firmly press the remaining 2/3 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan to create the base for the bars. I like to use a measuring cup to press the crumbs into the pan and really compact the crust.

Blueberry Crumb Bars with Shortbread Crust press the crust into the pan

5 Make the blueberry filling and top with crumbs: In a mixing bowl, toss the blueberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and zest together to coat. Spread the berries over the crust.

Remove the remaining crumb mixture from the fridge and crumble. Crumble it with your fingers and sprinkled over the blueberry filling.

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars combine the blueberries, zest and sugarCrumb Bars Recipe with Blueberries add the crust to the filling

6 Bake the crumb bars: Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until the blueberries are bubbling and the crumb topping is golden. Remove the bars from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely in the pan, at least 2 hours, before lifting from the pan using the parchment and cutting into squares.

Once cooled and sliced, the bars can be transferred to an airtight container and kept at room temperature for about a week.

Crumb Bars with Blueberries cut the bars

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Comments

  • Susan

    I made these today using blackberries instead of blueberries and they were delicious! It looks like I printed the recipe just before the parbake reference was changed, so I did parbake the crust for about 12 minutes. I also used a larger pan–12×9″, I think, and added a few more berries to make up for the larger surface area. They cut perfectly and tasted great! Thanks for providing me with a fun way to use up some of our blackberries!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Chani

    Hello,
    Can you please specify how long to par bake the crust for?
    Thank you!

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Chani! Sorry for the oversight. The original version of this recipe called for parbaking the crust, but readers said the crust was too hard. We tested it without parbaking and the crust was still firm, but not hard. We eliminated the parbake step in this recipe, but missed a reference to it. I’ve since updated the recipe and its ready for you to to bake. No need to parbake! Sorry about the oversight! Thanks for letting us know!

      • Chani

        Everyone loved them. They were delicious and beautiful! The pan was empty …
        Thank you!

  • Arturo

    This is my third time making this dessert. My wife and I love it, maybe too much. Rich buttery and tart, a great combination. Thanks so much for this recipe. My only request would be to have the nutritional value since i am logging food in a fitness profile. On the other hand maybe I don’t really want to know. : -)

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Emma Christensen

      So glad you liked the recipe, Arturo, but yes, I’m thinking you probably DON’T want to know the nutritional value! Ha! Unfortunately, we aren’t calculating the nutritional content of our recipes right now, so I’d suggest using an online nutrition calculator, like this one. Enjoy!

  • Janelle

    I used frozen blueberries, cooked an extra 15 minutes (as per the instructions) and it was so delicious!! Will definitely be making again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Emma Christensen

    Thanks for the feedback, Shawntell!

  • D D

    Loved them. I tried to put them in an 8×8 pan. Looked like there was too much of the crust. So used a 9×13 pan. Worked well for me. Why did you choose the smaller pan? What about a glaze? Will definitely make again. Loved the amounts of blueberries.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, DD! So glad you liked them! We liked these as a sturdy, thick bar, but they can certainly be made in a 9×13 pan, as you discovered! A glaze would also be delightful. I’d do a simple one with powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk, and drizzle it over top. Enjoy!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, DD! As you can see, we ended up adjusting this recipe to be made in a 9×9 pan instead of an 8×8. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Lynn

    Delicious! They were a big hit with my family. I’m going to try this recipe with cherries next.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Norma

    Thanks for your explanation, Cindy. I’ll make this recipe too and see which base I prefer. Both will taste yummy I know.

  • Marta Rivera

    So, this recipe can totally be a breakfast thing…I know because I not only ate it for a snack…and dessert…but, also for breakfast the day after I made it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Lisa

    Thoughts on leaving the egg yolk out? I’m vegan. I hate when people ask questions that really take the recipe away from the origins, but I have blueberries in house, and these look amazing! If egg is just for binding… water or fake egg. Tell me what to do please. :)

    • Bberry lady

      There is an egg replacer. If you’re vegan the butter needs to also be replaced. Both replacements work well in this recipe.

    • Cindy Rahe

      I think you could replace the egg, though I haven’t tried it. It just adds moisture and some binding.