I could also call these Muffin Top Bars since they pretty much taste like the best part of a blueberry muffin with crumble topping.
Please forgive the crumby photo… bah dum bum. But seriously, I couldn’t get mine to be nearly as photogenic as the original post on All That’s Left is the Crumbs. (Admittedly, I didn’t try all that hard. I got distracted baking some really amazing cookies this afternoon…) Hers look soooo delicious, though; I’ve been wanting to make these suckers for ages. They’ve been at the top of my to-bake list for like six months, but a lack of sour cream usually intervened. Or a sincere desire for chocolate.
In any case, given the months of build up, I was really disappointed when I finally pulled these out of the oven, patiently let them cool, and chopped off a corner to taste. It was dry and bland and I was sad. I thought the whole thing was a bust.
Then this morning, while chopping them up to dole out to my friends who don’t know better, I ate a small center cut piece – and my whole perspective changed. The bright burst of fresh blueberries is wonderfully complemented by the crisp topping and creamy custard filling. Because these are built with a shortbread-ish base, the edges end up rather dry and sucky. But once you get past the outer edges of the pan, the bars are gooey and delicious with a lovely contrast of crumbly crunch on top. (Probably more crumbly top than necessary, but still yummy).
Still, they don’t quite live up to the hype I’d built up in my head over the past months, and I’d like a more distinct/creamy filling that you might get with a more cream-cheese/cheesecake-y filling. Maybe I’ll experiment with that later. For the time being, these are a nice, summery bar that can pass for a breakfast dish or coffee cake in a pinch.
(Future me would also probably toss about a third of the reserved topping).
Blueberry & Cream Bars (from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs)
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- ½ brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- ¾ cups almond meal
- 1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 eggs
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375℉. Spray a 9×13 inch pan nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla together until combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor add ½ cup white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 2½ cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Pulse to blend. Then add the cold butter cubes and pulse until small crumbs appear.
Remove half of the crumbs and set aside. (These will be the topping later)
Add the almond meal, remaining ½ cup of flour, lemon zest, and egg/vanilla mixture to the food processor. Then pulse until the mix comes together.
Press the almond meal-flour mixture evenly into the bottom of prepared pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and cool slightly.
While the base is baking prepare the custard filling: place the eggs in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until combined. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until foamy. Add the sour cream, flour, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Then fold in the blueberries.
Pour the custard mixture over the crust and smooth the top. Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping over the custard.
Bake until the center is set and the topping is golden, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate.
Once cold, sift powdered sugar over the top and cut into bars/squares/triangles (tossing out the edges – they suck).