Let’s face it, pie baking is not for everyone. And that is totally fine. I fell into that category at one point, so I do get it. Pies are complicated endeavors. You’ve got to be invested in the process to make a great pie. And that’s not so easy, as all elements of a pie matter; the ingredients, the crust, the filling and don’t forget, the topping. Pie making requires skills, patience and what I call, good baking judgement.
For those that are pie-challenged, here are my frosted blueberry pie bars and they are the perfect dessert to make when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Instead of a delicate crust and topping, you have a crumble that works for both. The blueberry filling is a combination of a blueberry sauce and berries. And the glaze is an easy way to tie these beautiful fruity bars all together. These blueberry bars are also the perfect prep-ahead, portioned, sweet treats that are ideal for a Memorial Day celebration with friends and family.
In this recipe I use a combination of fresh and frozen blueberries, so you can actually make these frosted blueberry bars off season as well, without sacrificing a thing. My older son described these as a more elegant pop tart. My younger son said served warm is was just like eating a slice of pie, possibly better. I myself enjoyed them from breakfast with a cup of coffee. No matter what your preference, these blueberry pie bars should be added to your must bake list right now.
Frosted Blueberry Pie Bars
- For the Blueberry Sauce:
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Blueberry Layer:
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Bottom Layer And Crumble Topping:
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubbed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Topping:
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- For the Glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
- Step 1 For the blueberry sauce: In a small saucepan add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and mix to blend. Add the blueberries and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring often, until a few blueberries pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Cool completely.
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil. Set aside.
- Step 3 For the Blueberry Layer: In a medium mixing bowl, add the blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Set near your work station.
- Step 4 In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, such asa KitchenAid, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar and baking powder and blend on low. Add butter, egg yolk and vanilla extract, and blend until combined. Note, the mixture should be crumbly.
- Step 5 Place 2/3 of the flour mixture into the prepared baking pan and use your hands to press it flat. Pour the cooled blueberry sauce into the the blueberry mixture and use a rubber tip spatula to mix. Pour the blueberry mixture on top of the bottom layer. Scatter the rest of the mixture on top to make the crumble Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar and sugar on top pf the crumble. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minute or until the blueberry layer is bubbling.
- Step 6 For the Glaze: In a small mixing bowl add the confectioners’ sugar and the milk, whisk to blend and drizzle over bars right before serving.
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