There was dessert! How could a picnic end without something sweet? Before planning the picnic, I read an article in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine about how to prepare a picnic. By chance I have a subscription to the magazine. I think it came as a package deal with something else I ordered or it was a secret friend who thought I would enjoy it, but in any case, I was surprised when I kept on receiving an issue month after month. There were a lot of cute ideas there, including the tomato hand pies that inspired my roasted tomato sandwiches and sour cherry crumb cakes for dessert. I decided to follow the article and make a crumb cake because it’s easy to transport, and the picture looked so scrumptious.
From the time I read the article to the time I went to the grocery store something in my mind changed and I believed that the article talked about raspberry crumb bars instead of sour cherry crumb cakes. I set out to find raspberries and didn’t even look at the cherries. However, when I found the raspberries I was totally shocked at how expensive they were. Half a pint was $4 and since I would have to buy at least three of them to make the bars I would be spending a grand total of $12! It might not sound like a lot to some people, but for a recent college graduate, it’s quite a sum. So, after a good ten minutes in front of the berry stand, I decided to buy blueberries, two pints for $5, instead.
I was really happy about my choice of fruit and could not wait to start baking. When I opened the magazine to read the recipe, I realized that I the whole time I was thinking about crumb bars and that I couldn’t make the crumb cakes anyway because I didn’t have any buttermilk or an acceptable substitute on hand. I quickly scanned the indexes of all the cookbooks I had and searched online for a blueberry crumb bar recipe and found one at AllRecipes.com written about by Smitten Kitchen that was easy and simple. Yay!
The bars came out really moist in the middle, sandwiched between a sweet crumbly top and a firm, buttery crust. It was a perfect ending to the picnic. I’m calling mine a crumb bar cake because I made it in a round pan instead of a rectangular one. They looked like slices of cake when I cut them into cute triangles.
Blueberry Crumb Bar Cake
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
Zest and juice of half a lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch round pan.
Mix the sugar, baking powder, and flour together. Add the salt and lemon zest. Cut butter into small squares. Add the butter and egg into the flour mixture and blend with a pastry cutter, fork, or hands until combined and crumbly. Press half the dough into the pan to create the crust.
In a small bowl mix the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice together. Mix with the blueberries. Pour the berry mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the blueberries.
Bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.