Blueberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars


Blueberry Filling
3 packages (6 ounces of 1 1/4 cup each) blueberries
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest

Cornmeal Crust and Topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt in a 2-quart non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and continue to simmer stirring constantly until fruit thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add lemon zest.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or grease a 9-inch square pan.
Stir together flour, cornmeal and salt and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until mixture is light and fluffy, and becomes pale in color. Add vanilla mixing quickly to incorporate.

Add dry ingredients on low speed being careful to scrape the sides of bowl several times. Stop mixing when ingredients are fully incorporated but dough is still crumbly. This happens quickly; the mixture will look dry and floury one minute, then little clumps will suddenly appear.

Evenly distribute slightly less than half of the crumbly dough (2 cups) over bottom of prepared pan and press lightly to hold in place. Put the remaining dough in the refrigerator.
Bake crust for 25 minutes, or until lightly toasty brown.

Spread 1-1/2 cups blueberry jam filling over crust and cover with remaining dough. An even covering will produce a crust that covers the jam almost entirely, letting it peak through here and there.

Bake until top crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pan to prevent the bars from sticking. Cool completely and cut into bars.

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