While most of the country is still sweltering under record high temperatures, the summer season has begun to wind down and things are cooling off here up north. I’ve seen several leaves already begin to yellow and fall off the trees, and flocks of geese high in the sky flying south for the Winter.
Although I’m sad to see Summer come to an end, one of the things I’m really happy about is that, in many parts of the state, berries have ripened and are ready to pick. Last weekend the annual Blueberry Festival was held out in Girdwood. It’s a really fun event filled with music, food, and of course, berry picking. I wasn’t able to attend the festival this year, but I did get in the spirit of the blueberry season by stopping by the local market and picking up some blueberries there. Some of the blueberries were used to make Blueberry Pancakes, but the rest were used in these wonderful Blueberry Bars.
There’s nothing quite like the flavor you get from using fresh berries in baked goods. They just taste so delicious. The spices in this recipe are purposely kept to a minimal in order to ensure that the natural flavor of the blueberries really shines through.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and allspice with a whisk. Blend the butter and egg into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly.
Place blueberries over crumb base in a single layer.
Sprinkle remaining crumbs evenly over blueberries.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares.