I love blueberries and I've made a few recipes I'm proud of with them. But I have to tell you, these blueberry pie bars are the very best blueberry dessert I have made. Ever. Make them. They are also not extremely difficult and I like that the "crumble" on top is just more of the bottom crust, so you don't have to make a different thing for the top.
I admit that at first I wasn't sure how these would go over with the minions (the minions are chocoholics), so I did something I sometimes do when I really want to make a recipe, but don't want to have to eat a pan-ful by myself (and I would have). I made a teeny tiny one just for me. I did it in a miniature casserole dish my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday (ramekins would work too). I have a thing for one-serving dishes. I realize that it's slightly ridiculous to make something just for yourself and yet it brings me a certain pleasure. When you sit down to your very own dish of a dessert--I don't know--it's like you're royalty. Minus, you know, the servants to make it for you. But whether you're eating for one or serving a crowd--seriously--make these (P.S. If you're a little weird like me, I'll include my instructions for a tiny treat below as well).
Blueberry Pie Bars
adapted from Flavors by Four
makes 1 8x8 inch pan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
Cost: $4.10-ish (or $.25/bar for 16 bars)
whole wheat flour: .20, oat flour: .10, sugar: .15, almond extract: .15, butter: .75, eggs: .20, more sugar: .20, sour cream: .30, flour: .02, blueberries 2.00 (summer sale price)
Note: I used whole wheat flour and oat flour in place of the all purpose--not because I was trying to be virtuous, but because I love those nutty grain flavors with fruity fillings--it's like an oatmeal cookie crust to me, so I went with my id.
Another note: These can be served chilled as bars, but my very very favorite time to eat them was about an hour after it had come from the oven. It was not cold and not warm--soft, and perfect.
Wanna be a weirdo like me? To make a tiny portion, follow the tiny letters (it's 1/6 the recipe). Bake it in a ramekin or mini casserole like this one.
Crust and Topping:
1 1/2 C flour (I used about 1 C white whole wheat flour and 1/2 C oat flour)
1/4 C flour
3/4 C sugar
3 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
drop almond extract--be careful not to add too much--just a drop
3/4 C butter, chilled
3 Tbsp butter
2 large eggs
1/2 small egg
1 C sugar
1/6 C sugar (about 2 1/2 Tbsp)
1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 Tbsp sour cream
3/8 C (3 Tbsp) all purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp almond extract
a drop almond extract
20 oz fresh blueberries
3 1/2 oz blueberries or a handful and a half or so
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 inch pan (or a ramekin). I'd also recommend parchment paper just to make bar removal nice and easy. Then spray the parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, salt in a food processor or Kitchenaid. Cut butter into pieces and add. Mix until the butter is in pea sized clumps. (Alternatively you can use your hands to quickly mash up the butter into bits and mix that up with your dry ingredients.) Add the almond extract and give a quick mix.
Reserve 1 to 1 1/2 C (3-4 Tbsp) of this for your topping. Press the rest into the bottom of your pan. (Note: I may have reversed this and put that amount on the bottom instead of the top--still worked.)
Whisk eggs, add sugar, sour cream, all purpose flour, and almond extract. Then fold in blueberries.
Put this on your crust.
Then top with the remaining crumbly crust.
Bake 45-55 (35-40 minutes--small things don't ever take as little time as you think they will in baking) minutes or until top has turned golden brown and the center is no longer jiggly. If blueberries are showing through, they'll be bubbling throughout the treat, not just as the sides.
Let cool for an hour and eat it warmish/room-temperaturish as a cobbler or chill it and then cut it into bars. Either way is fabulous.