I love our farmers’ market. I mean, all foodies love their farmers’ market, but I really love it as a social experience as well. I live in a smaller community, and it seems like everyone knows everyone. The people who run the kids’ booth know my kids’ names; the lady who sells goat cheese knows us because my kids like to pet her baby goat (which she usually brings) and because we have talked about her possibly grinding cornmeal for me; the orchard guy has offered to order me blueberries from Michigan when he orders them because the soil here will not support blueberries and my entire family is devastated since we got used to fresh, local blueberries in PA. When I used to go the farmers’ market in PA, the whole thing was so crowded and smooshed that nobody ever just stopped to chat. It was a great market—but it was not a community like this one.
So I love the market. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because I go every week. It’s a bad thing because between the early start time (7:30 Am YIKES—in PA it started at 11) and all the socializing, I am actually kind of bad at buying much produce, especially right now before the serious produce starts. I spend all of my time buying plants and discussing growing things instead! By the time I look, a lot of it is sold out. (Yes I live in a rental, but as you see, my back porch is covered in potted veggies and herbs—and I am not done yet, much to John’s despair .)
So this past Saturday I went with the Very Serious Intention of finding some asparagus, if nothing else. And I did find asparagus, scallions and rhubarb. When I got home and wanted to make a fruit bar, I started looking for rhubarb recipes.
And made this blueberry bar instead.
What can I say, everything I found needed strawberries, and I didn’t have any. Yes I am feeling sheepish, and I promise you, you can expect some asparagus and rhubarb recipes later this week.
These bars were quite good, kind of like a crisp in bar form. I don’t know how I feel about blueberries with cinnamon—next time I think I would use a pinch of cinnamon, not the full amount. Also, and John and I disagreed about this, I would prefer a plain powdered sugar topping; he really liked the glaze. But no matter how you tweak it, there is a lot of tasty potential in these bars, especially during berry season.
Summer Berry Crumble Bars
2 cups (8.5 oz) AP flour (I used 1 cups WW pastry flour and 1 cup AP)
1 cup (8 oz) brown sugar
1 ½ cups (5.25 oz) rolled oats
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pats
3 cups (15 oz) fresh, cleaned and dried blueberries
¼ cup (2 oz) light brown sugar
3 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest or 1/8 t lemon oil
2 T (1 oz) butter, melted
½ t cinnamon
3 T (3/4 oz) AP flour
2 t lemon juice
2 T unsalted butter, melted
2-3 t water
1 cup (4 oz) confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Using a mixer or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside 2 cups of this mixture; press the remaining amount into a greased 9X13 pan (I greased mine and then layered with parchment paper and then lightly greased again). Bake the crust for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
While the crust is baking, mix the berries with the brown sugar, lemon juice and zest, melted butter, cinnamon and flour in a large bowl. Distribute the filling over the baked crust.
Sprinkle the reserved 2 cups of topping over the filling. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the top is browned. Remove the bars from the oven.
In a small bowl whisk together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the baked bars while they are still warm.
Cool completely before cutting.