Blackberry Crumble Bars

Blackberry Crumble Bars

From June 9, 2007:  I made these treats this morning for my hubby and son to take to a party this afternoon.  I thought they were really good, although a bit messy (crumbly). I adapted this recipe from one I found using raspberry jam and walnuts on the familyfun.com site.

Blackberry Crumble Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut up
1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup blackberry jam (preferably seedless)

Heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9- by 9-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the flour and salt and beat just until the dough forms clumps. Don’t overmix. Turn out the dough onto a piece of waxed paper. Lightly flour your hands and squeeze the dough into a ball (the warmth of your hands will soften the dough enough to hold it together).

Divide the dough into thirds. Crumble one third into a bowl and set it aside. Press the remaining two thirds evenly into the greased pan and bake it on the center oven rack for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the dough are lightly golden. Set the pan on a wire rack.  While the dough cools, add the oats and pecans to the reserved dough in the bowl and pinch the ingredients together so that the mixture becomes crumbly.

Spread the blackberry jam on the baked shortbread (it’s OK if the dough is still warm), then cover the jam with an even layer of the crumb topping. Bake the bars for 20 to 24 minutes, until the top crumbs are golden brown, then set the pan back on the wire cooling rack.  While the shortbread is still slightly warm, cut it into 21/4-inch squares. Once the bars cool completely (they are very fragile while warm), lift them from the pan with a spatula.


Blackberry Crumble

From August 4, 2005:  Last week, we met some friends at the Westmoreland Berry Farm and picked the most stunning blackberries I have ever seen.  Not only were they huge, they were also sweet and juicy…honestly, the best blackberries I have ever had.  I froze more than half of the 6 pounds I got for later use.  We ate many of the fresh berries out of hand.  With what was left, I made a blackberry crumble.

Crumbles are very easy to make.  Different fruits or a combination of fruits (what’s in season) can be used to make a variety of crumbles.  I have used apples, blueberries, and peaches.  Peaches and blueberries work well together.  If you don’t have fresh fruit, use frozen.  I like a lot of crumble topping, so sometimes I’ll double the recipe to get the ratio of topping/fruit I like.


Blackberry Crumble

Topping:
1 cup quick-cooking oats (I used 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup 9-grain cereal)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup wheat germ or oat bran
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter

At least 2 cups fresh blackberries (frozen can be used instead)
1 – 2 tablspoons sugar (I used 1 packet of Splenda)

Preheat the oven to 350  degrees.

Combine the first 6 topping ingredients in a small bowl to make the crumble topping.

Wash the fresh blackberries and toss with sugar.  Pour the fruit into a lightly oiled 9-by 9-inch baking pan or round pie plate and pat in evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden and turning crisp. Allow to cool until just warm, then serve on its own or topped whipped cream, ice cream, or yogurt.


Blackberry Muffins

From November 16, 2008:  These blackberry muffins are quite a treat.  A little more decadent than usual.  I used light sour cream and frozen blackberries when I made these muffins.  You can use frozen blackberries if fresh are not available. Slightly defrost the frozen berries first, drain  the excess liquid, and then coat them lightly in flour before adding them to the muffin batter.  Sub raspberries or blueberries (or another type of fruit) for something a little different.

Blackberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
6 T. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 – 1 1/2 cup(s) fresh blackberries, big berries cut in half
extra sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 12 muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups.

Mix together the flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, sugar, melted butter and vanilla.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few gentle strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently add the berries.  Do not overmix.  The batter should not be smooth.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little bit of sugar.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer).  Let cool slightly before removing from the pan.


Blackberry Upside-Down Cake

This is a great summer treat.  Quick and super easy to throw together.  Blackberry season is peaking right now, so fresh berries are ideal for this cake, but you can also use frozen berries.  Defrost and drain (I also gently pat them dry with paper towels) the frozen berries before placing in the bottom of the pan.  This is delicious served with vanilla ice cream.  Although I never tried using other berries in the recipe, I bet raspberries and other fruits (peaches, cherries, or plums) would be delicious as well

Blackberry Upside-Down Cake

2 1/2 cups fresh blackberries (12 oz)
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line bottom of a buttered 8- by 2-inch round cake pan with 2 rounds of parchment paper, then butter parchment. Dust pan with some flour, knocking out excess.

Arrange blackberries in 1 layer in cake pan. Sprinkle berries with 11/2 tablespoons sugar and shake pan to help distribute sugar.

Whisk together 1 cup flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix at low speed until just incorporated. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 batches, mixing at low speed until just incorporated.  Spoon batter evenly over berries, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until top is golden and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Run a thin knife around edge of pan, then invert a large plate over pan and, using pot holders to hold plate and pan together tightly, flip cake onto plate. Peel off parchment and serve cake with ice cream.