Hello all my foodie, travel enthusiast and everyone/thing in-between followers! I know it’s been a while, but such is life! We get busy and we don’t get time to do the things we love when we really want to.
But it’s all good, because today I found time and I did what I loved. I baked. And I baked something scrumptious. It’s healthy too! Ha, no I kid. Nothing I make is healthy. But this does have two kinds of berries in it so that makes it kind of healthy, right? Ok, no, you’re right. Still not healthy.
Anyway, I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (surprise, surprise!) but actually adapted it a little. Not because it looked anything but amazing, but because I am a University student and could not really afford her recipe. That’s because it required four cups of blueberries. Four cups. Of blueberries. I’m not sure how expensive blueberries are where you’re reading this from, but here in Aus, they’re pretty damn expensive.
Long story short, in my version of the recipe I used frozen blueberries and thought I’d also add raspberries into the mix for fun. I bought one 300g packet of blueberries, and one 300g packet of raspberries and that was surprisingly plenty of berries for the bars.
So – original recipe has four cups of blueberries, if anyone wants to do it that way. If not – here’s how I made mine! Enjoy.
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups plain flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
300g packet of frozen blueberries + 300g packet of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch/flour
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F) and grease a 9×13 inch pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix in defrosted blueberries and raspberries and make sure you’ve drained the juice.
4. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown (mine took about 35-40mins).
6. Cool completely before cutting into roughly 36 squares (depending on how big/small you want them!)
Oh baked goods, how I have missed you!
These bars were definitely a great way to start baking again. Really easy to make and really yummy in the tummy (yes, I did just say that).
To be honest, if you can afford it, try go fresh blueberries. Whilst the frozen berries still tasted delicious, you can really never go past fresh fruit! The bars also didn’t hold together as well (lots of them broke) and that could be because I didn’t drain the berry juice completely so the bars were too wet. And if you go back to Smitten Kitchen’s page and see the recipe … the bars look a tad different. Mine are definitely more messy.
So I tried to be spontaneous and creative but don’t think it really worked this time.
Eh! You live and you learn.
BUT – the dough was thick and moist, and the hint of lemon really complimented the tartness of the berries. As you can imagine, it’s not overly sweet either (for all you out there who don’t like too much sweetness (*cough* why on Earth not *cough*)
Great for afternoon tea or dessert with some ice-cream. Good way to incorporate fruit into your diet. Kind of. Not really. Hey, I tried!
So if you’ve been on a baking hiatus like me, make a comeback with these beauties, please? But maybe stick to Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. She’s the head chef, after all.