Blueberry and Almond crumb bars-recipe with a lemon zest


Last Friday, our downstairs upright freezer decided to defrost itself.

We have had a long hot BUSY summer.

And we have neglected to do some things- so the ice in the freezer was

becoming like a living monster-growing and Growing and GROWING!

Until it pushed the door open of it own volition.

Sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning it started to defrost the

freezer, so by the time we got there it was well on its way!

Thankfully- the meat was still rock hard frozen.

The ice cream was a loss.

The bread we could use for toast that morning.

But the bags of blueberries were totally defrosted and I had to

find something to make with them fast.

The good news here is that Frank loves desserts.

He thinks every meal should end in dessert.

But he’s not that fond of fruit pies.

So- I decided to make blueberry bars.

Of course, I started making them without looking for a recipe.

Because I’m that stupid, really.

So I put them into a pan with a cup of sugar, the juice of a lemon,

and  teaspoons of cornstarch and started to cook them down.

Then I started making a crust and after I had mixed up sugar (1 cup)

and flour (3 cups) and a pinch of salt, I grated a cup of butter into a

measuring cup and thought- I should go see how much baking powder

 I should add- and I went to look up a recipe.

The recipe said 1 teaspoon of powder would be sufficient.

But it was really different for the blueberry addition.

It said to use fresh blueberries and mix them with sugar and cornstarch

and lemon juice and then just spread it over the bottom layer of crust.

RATS!  I had already been cooking my thawed berries for about 20 minutes,

and they were bubbly and fragrant and done.  There would be no going back.

So- I adapted my recipe, and added some almonds and lemon zest to the top

layer and baked them up.


Recipe ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup slivered almonds
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups  blueberries ( frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9Γ—13 inch pan.

2. Put frozen/thawed berries in pan – add 1 cup sugar and lemon juice and

cornstarch and cook until bubbly and thick.

(2. Alternative:015

mix blue berries, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in bowl- set aside.)

3. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Grate butter into mixture-

and mix together until it resembles oatmeal in texture.


4.  Add egg and lemon zest- and mix together with hands.  Dough will be very


  Now put half of mixture into bottom of 9×13 pan and

press down.  Spoon blueberry mixture over the entire pan.


Add almonds  to mixture in bowl and stir.  Sprinkle over top

of blueberries and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (keeping an eye on

it- you want the top to be beautifully browned.)





Cut into bars when completely cool and separate carefully.

I wrapped mine up in wax paper and plastic for lunches.

I ate one first and decided to freeze the rest- these can be

easily eat by the handful!

12 thoughts on “Blueberry and Almond crumb bars-recipe with a lemon zest

  1. Do you have pick your own places in or outside of Bristol, Joanna?
    I really love pick your own orchards and berry farms. You get a really good price and the berries are uber- fresh.

    • I’ve never come across pick your own blueberries here. I have one little bush in a flower bed. We do have PYO places but they are not particularly good value, I remember them being better when I was a child. Now it might be to do with the part of the country I live in, Kent – the garden of England – is probably a much better place to live from that point of view πŸ˜€

      The cherry place I found was an hour’s drive (fuel is about 2 dollars a litre) and the cherries were maybe less than a dollar cheaper per kilo) sadly it wasn’t worth it from a money or environmental (unnecessary driving) side. Farm shops are usually a better bet. Blueberries are grown commercially here, but the season is short, and the greengrocers has blueberries throughout the year from everywhere from Peru to Spain, the prices rise and fall accordingly, but they are always in the more expensive end of the fruit shelf. Strawberries are good at the moment and plums too!

  2. Yum, I adore blueberries, but they are always so expensive in Australia, I sometimes get the frozen ones to combat. πŸ™‚ I’m amazed they are the cheapest. The slice looks fabulous, I could go a bite now.

    • It really is so good- better than a pie, because the filling isn’t overwhelming and the lemon zest and juice bring such a bright flavor. I usually don’t do that much baking with blue berries because my son can sit and eat a pint for a snack. We picked 10 pounds one year and we ate most of them fresh- I only made two pies!

  3. My little blueberry pot is just decided to flower at the moment, but I don’t think there will be enough to make this.
    I adore blueberries, and I’d eat any fruit pies that Frank didn’t want to Heidi πŸ™‚

  4. I really think that the poor man doesn’t have good taste buds, Brydie.
    He just doesn’t like anything unless it has a lot of spices. Or sugar. So he likes pumpkin and pecan pie..
    No apple, no berry, no coconut cream. He does like chocolate cream pie- but then he’d have to be certifiable if he didn’t like chocolate cream pie.
    If only they could figure out a way to quick send food like they do the internet, the world would be at peace.
    We’d all be eating scrumptious food instead of making war. AND I would send you pie and bread bears.

    • That is so true, Celia. And I have started to do just that- I have to freeze some stuff or it will disappear quickly. I made some oatmeal/ choc chip cookies on Monday- there are only a little over a dozen left! My husband has a real sweet tooth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *