Weren't you supposed to be somewhere else by now? That's the phrase I keep hearing from friends and colleagues whenever I see them. Yes, I sigh with an annoyance all too familiar, we were hoping to leave in early October. The good news is that we are moving to Cairo, Egypt shortly! The bad news is that it probably won't be as soon as we would like. However, I am definitely making the best of this situation. More time to visit family? Check. Friends coming to visit us in Chicago? Check, check, check. More time to eat blueberries and broccoli and apples that have actual crunch, none of which are available in the Middle East? YOU BET.
After three years of spending the months of August-September outside of the country, I apparently forgot that fall was a) a season, b) starts a whole lot earlier in Chicago, and c) is cold!! Although, if I'm being totally honest, I did cave and buy a fleece at the Columbia sportswear in Amman three years ago because I was freezing on those cool desert evenings.
Anyway, back to the blueberries. Do you ever make a giant portion of something, intending to give half of it your nice neighbors and then, "oh, oops, guess they're out of town this week, and we're just going to have to eat ALL these blueberry bars ourselves." So that's what happened here. It was really terrible, Paul was really suffering eating these bars for breakfast and after-dinner dessert.
I don't usually make this type of pastry because I tend to shy away from richer American desserts, but seriously this recipe is awesome. A small slice has just the right amount of crunch, ooze, and sweet-sour-salty tang to be imminently satisfying.
Blueberry Custard Crumble Bars
This recipe comes together quickly and feeds quite a few. It would be great for a casual dinner party, a picnic, or in your lunchbox. It also freezes very well after it is baked. Inspired by this recipe for a similar blueberry custard pie. (You can also top it with ice cream if you want to go all out.)
crust:12 tablespoons butter, cold
1 tbl flour2/3 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Get out a 9x12 inch baking pan.
2. Make the crust: in a large bowl, rub the butter together with the sugar with your finger tips. Add in the salt and the flour and rub everything together until the mixture is crumbly. Press the crumbly mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, trying to cover it evenly.
3. Make the filling: Using the same bowl, place the sour cream, lemon, egg, flour, and brown sugar in the bowl and mix well. Gently fold in the blueberries until coated with the sour cream mixture. Spread the blueberry mixture over the crust.
4. Make the crumble: In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt, walnuts, and flour. Slowly pour in the melted butter, stirring simultaneously, until you've added all the butter. Stir a few more times to make sure all the butter is spread around. Gently spread the crumble topping over the blueberries.
5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the topping is browned and the blueberry juices are bubbling slightly underneath. Remove, let cool completely before slicing.