Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Baking is the love of my life for many reasons. First and foremost, baking to me is about giving to other people through food. To me, there's no greater feeling than feeding someone and making them happy with what you have given them. I often make something, taste it to see if I approve and then happily give it all away for consumption. My friends look at me like I'm crazy, as if to say, You made this for us? You're not going to have any of it? You're nuts. And then they dig in. Having not baked anything but bread for a while and it being smack in the middle of studying for finals, I figured, let's cheer some people up. I knew I wanted to make some sort of crumble bar but I couldn't find a recipe that I liked. So I made one up, using some left over no-sugar-added blueberry jam that I doctored based on the flavorings of blueberry pie. There really isnt a recipe, its more of a concept. Feel free to use whatever flavor jam you have on hand and doctor the flavoring of it accordingly. I didn't add thickener to the filling, although I think it might help to add a small amount of flour so that the filling sets up better while cooling. These bars got rave reviews.... in fact one of my friends, who is fruit-phobic, ate most of them!

Blueberry Crumble Bars

1 cup of quick cooking oats
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup spelt flour
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
5 tbsp margarine

Blueberry jam
Lemon juice, to taste
1/4 tsp vanilla, or to taste
small pinch of salt
small pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350. Place a sheet of parchment into a 9x9 inch square pan.
For the crust, combine the flours, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub in the 5 tablespoons of margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press most of it into the pan, reserving about half a cup for the crumb topping.
For the filling, combine all ingredients and spread across the top of the crust.
Top with the reserved crumbs. Bake until golden brown and the filling bubbles at the corner. Cool before cutting.

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