Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling

In my search for my much loved Lemon Berry Cobbler Cake, I came across this recipe at Just Baking (although it originated from FIne Cooking magazine Issue #93 - June/July 2008).  It is nothing like my Cobbler Cake, but it looked good none the less.  Being perfectly honest, I did not like them at first.  They were dry and much too rich for me, so I sent them to work with my husband.  There were a few left over, so the next day I thought, I should try this if everyone is saying how wonderful they are and they were wonderful!  The lemon-cream filling had absorbed into the streusel and crust and made it moist and delicious.  They are still rich, but delicious.

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
  • 13 1/2 ounces (3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries (about 13 ounces), washed and drained on paper towels
Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the ends. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using your fingers, blend the butter completely into the flour mixture. Transfer 2 cups of crumb mixture to another bowl and reserve for topping. Blend the egg white into the remaining crumbs and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form a level crust. Tap it with the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out. Bake the crust until it starts to form a dry top, 10 to 12 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Let stand for 5 minutes; it will begin to thicken.

Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the hot crust, then drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries. Spread gently with a spatula to distribute a little more evenly, but take care not to crush the berries. The lemon mixture need not be perfectly evenly spread. Bake until the lemon mixture just begins to form a shiny skin, 7 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle the reserved topping over the lemon-blueberry layer, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle. Bake until the filling is bubbling at the edges and the topping is brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack until just warm, about an hour. Carefully lift them out of the pan using the foil overhang and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the foil and cut into 24 bars when cool. The bars may be stored at room temperature for a few hours, but should otherwise be kept in the refrigerator.

Julie R.

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