Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Violet Beuregarde’s Brown Butter Blueberry Bars

I’m feeling a little blue . . .like Violet Beauregarde blue . . . as in blueberry blue. 

 I have a friend who works for a local produce company.  I’ll call her KT. She supplied us with about 12 baskets of beautiful blueberries a few weeks ago. So what to do with all these berries? I froze some and then spent a few hours minutes on Pinterest and was inspired by Tide and Thyme’s recipe for Brown Butter Cranberry Shortbread Bars to create my version of Brown Butter Blueberry Bars.  The only problem? We can’t stop eating them and we are beginning to hear the chants of the Oompa Loompas because soon B, The Girl, The Boy and I will all have to be rolled out the door to the juicing machine. Really, as I am typing this, I am sure my skin has a slight tinge of blue. I did use some in my brown glop healthy, green smoothie, and also made some yummy blueberry lemonade for The Boy and The Girl. But nothing tastes as good as THE BARS so we’ve made three batches with the fresh berries and now we are onto more batches with the frozen. No, we didn’t eat them all in one sitting AND we gave some to our favorite blueberry benefactor, KT and her family.  But let me tell you, it is just the right mix of nutty, buttery, crunch and the smell of the bubbly, blue filling is like a summer morning.

Don’t believe me . . . here’s the recipe . . . try it . . . I dare you . . . but don’t call me when the Oompa Loompas arrive.

Blueberry Brown Butter  Bars

1 cup plus 5 Tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg yolks

3 cups plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornmeal
12 oz (about 2 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
To make the crust
Line a 13×9-inch pan using the foil sling method, leaving an overhang on opposing sides so you can lift the bars out after baking. Spray the pan and foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Add the butter to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Melt the butter, swirling the pan frequently. Once the butter has melted, it will start to bubble and foam. Continue to cook (continuing to swirl the pan) until the butter turns brown and smells nutty – be patient and watch carefully, it can go from brown to burned quickly. Turn off the heat under the pan, and let the butter cool until lukewarm.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt. Beat in the egg yolks. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour until completely incorporated. The dough will be thick and stiff. Transfer about 2 cups to the prepared pan and press into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 F.
Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until it begins to set, but has not yet started to brown around the edges.
While the crust bakes, make the streusel by combining the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cornmeal with the reserved dough. Use your fingers to mix until crumbly.
To make the blueberry filling
 Combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and continue boiling until the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Spread the blueberry mixture in an even layer over the hot crust. Sprinkle the streusel over the top. Increase the oven temperature to 350 F, and bake on a rack placed in the top of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the streusel is golden.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour (you can also cool in the fridge if you want to speed up the process). Once cool, use the foil handles to lift the bars out. Place on a cutting board, and cut into squares before serving. Store for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.

Source: recipe adapted from Tide and Thyme


  1. Yes there were delicious!! Thanks for the recipe, the family asked me to see about getting some baking lessons from Martha, oh I mean Jen? But i just came up with a better proposition, for me that is, I'll supply the berries and you bake your magic. I was also asked to inquiry about the apple thingy. I'll supply the ingredients and you supply your work of art...Guess who!

    1. That sounds like a deal either way! I was thinking of giving you an apple hand pie kit-that is another fun thing-I have the filling frozen and and the crust as well-after that it is easy to put together. But you can always be my produce provider any day :)

  2. Sounds great. Not only are you great in the baking corner but your just as sweet as your delicious desserts. A little corny there. Lol

  3. Thanks so much for the pie kit. It was better then any store bought kit. And it was a hit at home!!