A mix of blueberries and chopped strawberry offer a taste of summer in these easy crumble bars. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)

Eat This: Strawberry-blueberry crumble bars for Memorial Day

A crumble’s ingredients are simply mixed together in a bowl until they’re, well, crumbly, and patted into a pan.

  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021 1:30am
  • Life

By Gretchen McKay / Special to The Herald

I picked a ton of blueberries last summer as a tonic for the coronavirus, and much of it ended up in my freezer. Whether they’re still worth eating is debatable — some say you have to use berries within three months — but I think they still taste good and besides, I’m not one to waste the fruits of my labor. To use up the last of them, I decided to make my mother a berry dessert.

She and I share a sweet tooth, along with a love of buttery crusts, so I decided on mixed fruit crumble bars. Unlike a pie, a crumble’s ingredients don’t have to be rolled out, but are simply mixed together in a bowl until they’re — you guessed it, crumbly — and patted into a pan. More of the crumble mixture is then sprinkled on top for a buttery, crispy finish. It doesn’t get much easier.

I used a combination of blueberries and strawberries, and will make another later this summer with the 25-pound box of peaches I ordered from The Peach Truck. If you don’t like almonds, substitute pecans or walnuts or leave the nuts out all together. You also can add a dash of cinnamon.

It helps tremendously to line the baking pan with parchment so you can lift the entire lot out in one fell swoop. But buttering and flouring the pan works, too. However you do it, be sure to let the crumble cool to room temperature before cutting it into squares or they may fall apart.

While considered a dessert, crumble makes a quick and easy breakfast with just the right amount of a sugar rush to start your day. They’re great for a mid-afternoon snack, too. Leftovers can be frozen in a well-sealed airtight container for about two months.

Strawberry-blueberry crumble bars

For the crust and topping:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 large egg

½ teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract

For the berry filling:

2½ cups blueberries

2 cups chopped strawberries

½ cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

Juice and zest of 1 small lemon

½ cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, or prepare it with butter and a dusting of flour.

Prepare crust/topping: On low speed, combine granulated sugar, baking powder, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle. Add lemon zest, butter chunks, egg and vanilla or almond extract. Beat on low speed until the butter is evenly distributed in pea-sized pieces and the mixture is crumbly. (It should come together when pressed between your fingers.)

Dump about ⅔ of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Use your fingers or the bottom of a glass to evenly press the dough into the pan, making sure to fill the corners. Set aside while you prepare the filling.

In a large bowl, gently stir together berries, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice and zest until well incorporated. Spread the filling over the crust, then sprinkle the remaining dough mixture over the top of the berries. Sprinkle toasted almonds evenly on top;

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and fruit looks jammy. Transfer pan to a rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 16-20 squares.

Talk to us

More in Life

Gene Simmons impersonator, Jack Murrin practices on there bass guitar at his storage building on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Everett, Washington. Murrin, 51, a firefighter and impersonator, is putting on a 2-hour KISS concert with 19 songs in front of his north Everett home on Halloween.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
The Demon: Gene Simmons imitator hosts a free Kiss concert

Everett firefighter and paramedic Jack Murrin will return to the stage for a Halloween show at his home.

Simple recipes for gluten-free baked goods — even bread — yes, really

“Cannelle et Vanille” blogger Aran Goyoaga has written a cookbook of straightfoward bakes without gluten.

Quinn on Nutrition: Agriculture workers deserve our support

Keeping animals and crops and fields healthy and productive is a job that’s done by less than 2% of Americans.

Clockwise from top left:
These 6 Halloween cocktails are made with ‘boos’ — get it?

They’re a festive way to toast the holiday — but be careful with the potent Zombie.

School meals, like this sloppy Joe, chocolate milk, pear and baby carrots, support kids and local farmers. (Jennifer Bardsley)
School lunch: Every child deserves to eat, so let’s feed them well

Breakfast and lunch are now free for all students in the Edmonds School District. Here’s what else we can do.

Chicken parmesan is reimagined as a saucy, one-pan meatball dish with a crunchy panko topping. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Chicken Parmesan is reborn as one-pot crunchy meatballs

Spoon these versatile meatballs on top of your favorite pasta, or tuck them inside hoagie buns.

Kamiak alum and Harvard graduate, Michael Bervell on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 in Mill Creek, Washington. Bervell's new book, "Unlocking Unicorns",  profiles 10 founders of billion-dollar companies in India, Africa and the Middle East. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Kamiak graduate profiles the ‘Unicorns’ of the business world

Michael Bervell’s new book features 10 entrepreneurs who created billion-dollar startup companies. What do they have in common? None of them are white Western men.

The Toyota Highlander XSE’s front fascia, grille, and lower spoiler are exclusive to this model. (Manufacturer photo)
Toyota Highlander gets a sport infusion from new XSE model

Suspension tuning upgrade, distinct styling and exclusive trim are among the midsize SUV’s revisions.

Why it’s important to respect each other’s COVID-19 choices

Stay up-to-date with state and local health department recommendations so that you can make informed decisions.

Most Read