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Blueberry Pie Crumble Bars

by H. Reilly 4 months ago in recipe
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or just crumble....

plus you get to see my tin foil wall since I do not have the correct size pan

I always hate having to scroll through the life story of the writer before you get the recipe so this is it. I've adapted this recipe from NYT Cooking and a generic crumble top:


10 ⅔ oz shortbread cookies (2 5.3 oz packages of Walker's shortbread works well)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


8 oz cream cheese at room temperature

¼ cup of sugar AND ⅓ cup of Sugar

1 large egg

3 cups blueberries, suggested wild + frozen, but I used an 18 oz package from Trader Joe's

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 generous pinch of salt


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch of salt

½ cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

⅓ cup AND 1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. If your oven is anything like mine, it will take longer than expected for this step to occur. Line 9x9 metal/nonstick pan with parchment paper with 2" overhang on 2 sides.

2. In food processor (which I do not have) blend shortbread cookies, sugar, flour, salt, and pulse until you have fine crumbs. OR, put into large sealable plastic bag and crush/let your step son beat with a muddler until fine crumbs. Add butter and mix until evenly moistened. Transfer mixture to your prepared pan and press down into even layer. Bake 15-20 minutes, so mixture is a shade darker.

press this REALLY hard into the pan or it will be crumbly later

3. While baking prepare filling. In a bowl mix cream cheese, ¼ cup of sugar and egg until smooth. This is why it's important that your cream cheese is at room temperature or that you have serious arm muscles. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch, ⅓ cup of sugar, and salt until coated. There will be sugar in the bottom, don't worry.

unmixed cream cheese layer

plus strawberries from the farmer's market for snacking

4. Prepare topping. In yet another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Slowly mix in butter and vanilla extract so that mixture is in large clumps.

5. Remove crust from the oven. Carefully evenly spread cream cheese mixture over the warm crust. Then top with blueberry mixture, dumping out the sugar in the bottom of the bowl as evenly over the blueberries as possible. Finally, sprinkle the topping over the blueberry layer.

apparently my arm muscles were not quite up to "smooth" and my cream cheese was a tad cold

6. Bake until filling is set about 35-40 minutes. Allow bake to cook on rack completely. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour before attempting to cut into bars.

uncooked crumble topping

See, now you're down here where all the pretty pictures of my varied success is. While the results of this were tasty, it did not all go according to plan. However, this Sunday tea time bake did not make it to the following Sunday, so I would call it a triumph in that regard.

The final result


1. Do not tell your boyfriend that you only need a tablespoon of cornstarch after he went to three stores in an attempt to find it. He does not know how vital it is in the filling, nor will he appreciate the fact that now you'll have enough for a while.

2. Do not cook this recipe on the hottest day of the year like I did.

3. Actually find/use a 9x9 pan. My makeshift wall of tinfoil did work....but I don't know if I would recommend it. Though 9x9 does seem funny for a pan size? I have glass pans that size for brownies and the like but no metal. Is it just me?

4. Chill time is apparently one of the most important steps, which, I completely missed, so my bars fell apart quite a lot. I stored mine in some sealed containers (do not stack them or they'll mush together) in the fridge and they lasted from Sunday afternoon until my boyfriend ate the last of them on Friday night. So, obviously I'm not entirely sure how long they last in this state.

Old Man Review:

They're yummy. Definitely better if you microwave them in a bowl for a minute first.

4 year old Review:

I like blueberries! No...I don't like this. No, I don't want anything else for dessert, I like it. I think I just like blueberry muffins and chocolate. *sighs* Fiiiinnnneeeeee.....Can I play now?


About the author

H. Reilly

I've never actually read The Old Man and the Sea, but I do love salt.


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Comments (1)

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  • Brianna Baez4 months ago

    This looks absolutely amazing !! On my to do list: make crumble. Thanks for sharing!

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