You know how sometimes you fool yourself into thinking something’s better than it is, simply because you want it to be? Or when you prefer to have “less than,” rather than none at all? You know…you settle. This applies of course to many aspects of life, but for the sake of an innocent Mitts and Measures perspective, I’m going to stick with a simple example. Blueberries. I’m not sure anyone anywhere has had quite the mental go-in’s ons with blueberries that I’ve had lately, but it’s been a thing with me. I do know that it’s not quite the peak of blueberry season around here but it’s summer and I want it to be, so what do I do? I buy blueberries. Over and over again. They’re great for breakfast and for snacking during the day and we know how good they are for us. The one thing that’s been missing has been the true, delicious flavor we should expect from them. I hadn’t had a single really good blueberry… until now. Well, let’s just say they’re getting better?
So, the decision was made that the time was finally right to make these streusel bars. I originally got the recipe off my old food message board years ago and it’s one of those bars that once you’ve made them, it’s clear they’ve got to be on summer rotation for years to come. They’re absolutely delicious. The ratio of crust to fruit to crumb is perfect and with just a hint of lemon to brighten things, it’s simply no fail. Great dessert, heavenly snack and for those so inclined… (cough) heavenly breakfast, too!
|Berry Berry Streusel Bars|
|1.5 C Quaker Oats (old fashioned)
1 and 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1.5 sticks of butter, melted
1.5 cups of fresh blueberries
1/2 c of raspberry, cherry or strawberry preserves
1 T flour
1 T lemon peel
1 t fresh lemon juiceHeat oven to 350. Combine oats, flour, sugar and butter, mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture for streusel topping and set aside. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9″ square baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.In medium bowl, combine preserves, blueberries, lemon peel, juice and flour. Mix gently. Spread over crust. Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over top, patting down gently. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.
I was lucky enough to still have some Hedgerow Jam in my fridge that my brother had given me from a local farmer. This stuff is amazing! You can use any kind of fruit jam in these bars and they’ll be a success. I usually use a good raspberry jam, but this Hedgerow Jam includes strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Talk about knocking it out of the park! If you’re interested, it’s made locally here in Wisconsin and can be purchased online here.