Easy blueberry pie bars with juicy blueberries layered over a buttery shortcake and topped with a crumble and almond topping.
The bars are finished with a zesty lemon glaze.
Blueberry pie bars are a bit like blueberry pie but in a bar form. The sweet and buttery shortcake is what is used as the bottom of the bars, and the same mixture is crumbled over top to create the crispy crumb. Sliced almonds are added too for extra texture.
The Base and crumble
Both the base and crumb topping in these bars are made from the same shortcake dough. A shortcake is a cake made from dry dough with high-fat content. A shortcake is aptly named a ‘short' cake because the fat in the cake stops it from rising too high. This blueberry pie bar shortcake is made using real butter as the fat component for the best flavor.
Cut cold butter, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon together until the butter resembles coarse bread crumbs. Complete this step using a food processor or a bowl and a pastry cutter.
Whisk an egg with a little milk and add it to the dough. Combine it using a fork or your hands. The dough should be quite dry. This is going to help slow the gluten developing in the flour which avoids a chewy shortcake.
Use ⅔ of the shortcake as the bottom layer in the blueberry pie bars. Crumble the remaining ⅓ of the shortcake dough over the top of the blueberry filling along with sliced or slivered almonds for extra texture.
The blueberry filling
The blueberry filling in this blueberry crumble bar is very simple - Blueberries, lemon, sugar, and cornstarch.
The lemon zest gives flavor and freshness. The cornstarch coats the blueberries and as they bake, it helps to create a thicker filling.
Fresh berries vs frozen berries
Use fresh or frozen blueberries in this recipe. The amount of sweetness may need to be adjusted depending on the blueberries. Frozen blueberries are usually frozen at their best and are often very sweet. Pulling back on the sugar content when using sweet blueberries will help avoid an overly sweet filling.
Drizzle the blueberry bars with lemon glaze once baked and cooled. This is an optional addition as it does make the bars even sweeter, however, the zesty fresh lemon juice in the glaze lifts the blueberry flavor even more.
In a food processor or a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cold butter cubes. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
Lightly whisk an egg with milk. Add it to the flour mixture. Use your hands or a fork to combine it into a dry dough. The dough should be quite crumbly and not sticky.
Line a 9x9 inch (23 x 23 cm) tin with parchment paper.
Press ⅔ of the shortcake mixture evenly into the lined tin
In a bowl, toss together the blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour the blueberries over the shortcake base.
Crumble the remaining ⅓ of the shortcake over the blueberries and scatter with sliced or slivered almonds.
- Bake the blueberry pie bars in the oven until golden brown and baked through and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before drizzling with lemon glaze and slicing.
Love baking with fruit? Try this apple bread recipe, a rhubarb coffee cake or this peach crisp.
For more shortcake recipes, check out this spiced feijoa shortcake.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Sweet, juicy blueberries layered over buttery shortcake and topped with a crumble and almond topping.
Base and Crumble
- 300g (2 ½ cups) all-purpose or pastry flour
- 180g (¾ cup + ½ Tablespoon) cold butter
- 65g (⅓ cup) white sugar
- 50g (¼ cup) soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tablespoon milk
- 30g (⅓ cup) sliced or slivered almonds
- 350g (2 ¼ cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar*
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 115g (1 cup) confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) regular oven, or 320°F (160°C) fan-bake.
- In a food processor or a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and cold butter cubes. Blend or cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
- Lightly whisk an egg with 1 tablespoon milk, then add it to the flour mixture. Use your hands or a fork to combine it into a crumbly dough. You might need the extra tablespoon of milk to help it combine, but only use it if necessary. The dough should still stay quite crumbly though and not be sticky.
- Line a 9x9 inch ( 23 x 23 cm) tin with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, toss together the blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Press ⅔ of the shortcake mixture evenly into the lined tin, then pour the blueberries over the shortcake base.
- Crumble the remaining ⅓ of the shortcake over the blueberries and scatter with sliced or slivered almonds.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before drizzling with lemon glaze and slicing.
- Cover and store leftover blueberry bars at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners sugar into a thick glaze. Drizzle it over the cooled blueberry bars.
*If using very sweet blueberries, the amount of sugar in the blueberry filling can be reduced.
The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use grams.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 2g
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