Mixed berry shortbread crumble bars

If you love shortbread, which I do, this is a great recipe. I don’t love overly sweet things so it makes sense that I gravitate towards treats like shortbread because they have a savory element that cookies or cake don’t typically have. The downside is that the savory element comes mostly from the fairly large amount of butter it takes to make shortbread cookies, or in this case, shortbread bars. But hey- somethings are worth it and this is one of them.

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe for raspberry crumble bars featured in her “Foolproof” cookbook.  The major difference between Ina’s recipe and mine is that I prefer to use mixed berry jam over pure raspberry, but that’s a personal choice. When given a jam choice, I always go mixed berry.

  • For this recipe to be successful you must use room temperature butter or your dough will not come together. (Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before.)
  • Use the right size pan
  • You need jam, not jelly. Yes, there is a difference!
  • Wait for the bars to cool completely before removing from the pan. Removing from the pan is by far, the hardest part of the recipe. Just cut a small square to start and then go from there.

This is the 9×9 cake pan that I own and recommendIt’s necessary to have a good baking pan that reduces your chances of your batter sticking and ruining all your hard work. After a bit of research, this is the pan I choose for its construction that was designed to enhance air flow for even baking and rapid release. It cooks evenly and always releases easily. I recommend this product confidently.

The Recipe

Mixed Berry Shortbread Crumble Bars
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Cooling time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 to 12 ounces mixed berry jam or raspberry jam
  • 2/3 cup good granola without dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.

  3. Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about ¼ inch up the sides. Spread with the jam, leaving a ¼-inch border. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top. 

  4. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.

  5. Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe Notes

Once cooled, store in an airtight container for 3 days. 

Blueberry Crostata

Better than blueberry pie

Homemade Blueberry Pie. Does it get any better? Sure does!  This open face version of a blueberry pie is so incredibly easy to make that you literally have NO excuse not to make one of America’s greatest summer dessert traditions, at any time.

Besides that it tastes great, the blueberry crostata simple looks beautiful! The blueberries do all the work by becoming the focal point and the star of the dish. You can’t help but dig right in. It’s a rustic dish, but impressive enough to serve to guests or to round out a stay at home dinner date.

Blueberry Crostata
With only a few ingredients, this rustic tart is easy, delicious and impressive enough for any occasion!

There are two ingredients that take this crostata to the next level- the pie crust and the sugar. All good pie must have good pie crust. So you’ll need to make your own or use a really good pre-made crust. Sugar in the raw on the crust glistens after baking and adds that finishing touch that makes is crostata irresistible.

Recommended (but not necessary) ingredients

The Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Rustic Blueberry Crostata
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
resting time
5 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This recipe for blueberry crostata is “easy as pie” to make! Serve with vanilla bean ice cream and you won’t be disappointed! 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries approx. 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs sugar in the raw (okay to use granulated sugar if you don’t have raw sugar)
  • 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chilled butter cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 home made or store bought refrigerated, rolled, 9 inch pie crust (recommended Immaculate Baking Pie Crust)
Instructions
  1. Bring pie crust to room temperature according to package instructions. Then heat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Unroll pie crust and place on the baking sheet. (roll out crust slightly if needed to smooth out or shape.)

  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice.

  4. Spoon mixture into the middle of the crust leaving about 2″ around the edge.

  5. Fold the edges over, crimping slightly as you work your way around the pie. 

  6. Dice the chilled butter and dot on top of the blueberries.

  7. Whisk the egg and water.  Brush egg mixture onto the crust and sprinkle with sugar.

  8. Bake 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the blueberries have begun to bubble.

  9. Cool and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

This recipe can be made one day in advance. It reheats well, but be careful just to warm up and not recook.

blueberry crumb cake

This is the BEST crumb cake recipe in the whole entire world! The first time I made this cake it exceeded my wildest expectations and I’m certain it will exceed yours too. It not only tastes delicious, but the smell while it bakes is absolutely fabulous!This is yet another outstanding Ina Garten recipe. The only thing that I changed from the original recipe is that I use a 9” springform pan rather than the cake pan that the original recipe calls for, and it worked out brilliantly. I highly, highly recommend you do the same if you have one. The springform pan guarantees an easy exit from your pan to your serving dish ensuring your cake doesn’t crumble before you are ready to serve it.

This cake is perfect for so many occasions, but I think serving it for brunch or with afternoon tea is about as perfect as it gets. I also can’t imagine a better house warming gift for a new neighbor or friend.For storage, cover the cake loosely and leave it out at room temperature. It will stay for up to 3 days, if you can keep away from it for that long.

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: brunch
Servings: 8 people
Author: Ina Garten
Ingredients
For the streusel:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 pound 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
For the cake:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (3/4 stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
For the streusel:
  1. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,
  4. Crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.