Rich, gooey, yummy blueberry filling ribboned into a cake that’s so soft and decadent you’ll feel like it came from a bakery. Add the lemony glaze drizzled over the fruity goodness, and you have dessert perfection!
These serve a crowd since they’re made in a jelly roll pan (10×15″) and look and taste so beautiful, you’d be proud to bring them to a gathering. But I made them today because it’s blueberry time and what better way to celebrate? I make my own pie filling from fresh or frozen blueberries we have picked.* But, as a time saver, you can definitely use canned pie filling.
It would be almost as yummy.
To make the filling, in a saucepan whisk together 1 cup of sugar,
3 T. of cornstarch (or 6 T. of flour),
3/4 tsp. cinnamon,
and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg.
Grate in 1 tsp. of lemon zest.
I want to note here that one lemon will be just right for both the filling and the bars. I juice half a lemon for the pie filling and use it for the zest. The remaining half and its juice will be used for the glaze later.
Slowly whisk in 1 cup of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat whisking often to prevent lumps.
When the mixture is thickened, add 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, stirring carefully so as not to turn them to mush. They will cook down somewhat, but if you are careful with them, some will stay mostly intact. Cook and stir until thick, about 4 minutes.
Add 2 T. lemon juice.
While this cools you can start your batter for the bars. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Using a mixer, cream 1 cup softened butter and 1 3/4 cup sugar together. Add 4 eggs one a time beating well after each addition and then 1 tsp. vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix 3 cups flour,
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder,
and 1/2 tsp. salt.
Mix the dry with the wet mixture.
Spread about 2/3 of the batter into a jelly roll pan. It’s a sticky dough, and I tried several ways to spread it effectively. The best I found was an offset spatula.
Spread the pie filling over the batter leaving about 3 Tablespoons full to put into your mouth because you just have to.
Drop the remaining batter a glob at a time over the pie filling. I put a glob into my hands and spread it until somewhat flattened and then just laid it in random pieces all over the pie filling.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes (check starting at 35) or until all of the dough is golden brown. Make sure the middle of the dough looks done as well or it will be gooey.
Now, you make the glaze by whisking together 1 T. very soft butter,
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar,
and 2 T. lemon juice.
When it’s smooth, drizzle it over the bars that have cooled a bit. They should still be warm, but not straight out of the oven.
And there you go! Ooey, gooey, blueberry bars. Enjoy!
*How to successfully freeze blueberries…
Prepare a large counter or table by covering the surface with a layer of paper towel. Rinse the berries very well in a strainer, picking out stems and squishy berries as you go.
Lay out clean berries in a single layer on the paper towel. Let them air dry for several hours, rolling them around partway through to help them dry.
When they are completely dry, fill quart-size freezer bags with blueberries, and pop them into the freezer.
Mine keep at least a year this way, and when I need to use them I just pour them straight out of the bag into my recipe. Perfect for year-round muffins, blueberry breads, and buckles, and pies!
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