So I’m kind of in berry overload mode.
Almost every summer, I would try to find a U-pick blackberry/some-berry farm nearby. In Texas. I had these wonderful memories of doing this as a kid, I think somewhere outside of Brenham (sidenote: someone send me Blue Bell). One year of my semi-adult life I was able to find a place to pick blackberries. I picked a bunch and it was awesome. But every other year, my search was futile.
Something to do with the drought or something.
I live in Michigan now, where it sometimes barely gets above 80 and it rains enough to allow plants to grow and grass to stay green. It’s pretty magical. You can pick your own blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, apples, squashes, pumpkins, etc. etc. etc. Probably you can pick your own kale somewhere, but I’m not super interested in that.
Now that I’ve told this story(?) about finding a U-pick farm, I’m realizing that I did not, in fact, pick the blueberries for this recipe. I picked some (5 lbs) raspberries for a different recipe (Raspberry Pecan Blondies, get excited) that I’ll put up soon.
I got these blueberries from the grocery store. BUT. They were local Michigan blueberres, and they were so ridiculously on sale. I bought a bajillion. I ate them with most meals and then froze a bunch and then baked these bars. I was going to make some regular old blueberry crumb bars. Then I remembered a smoothie (slash milkshake) that I used to get at Thirsty’s at Valley View Mall (now defunct and scary). Blueberry coconut. Or blueberry colada, or some catchy name. Y’all, this combo – ridiculous. I brought them to work where they were consumed by residents in varying states of fatigue, and now I’m wishing I had some more. For eating. Right now.
(Is the word “blueberry” starting to look a little weird to anyone else?)
Blueberry Coconut Crumb Bars
Makes 12-16 bars (one 9×9 pan – can easily be doubled for a 9×13 pan)
1/2 + 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
10 TBS unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg
2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tsp cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the middle position. Butter a 9×9 square pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, toss together the blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
3. (You could make the crust in a food processor if you want.) In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour. Using a pastry cutter or a fork (or a few pulses if using a food processor), cut the butter into the flour mixture. Mix in the egg using a fork.
4. Transfer about 1/2-2/3 of the crust mixture to the prepared pan. Press it into the pan, pressing a small amount up the sides of the pan. Pour the blueberry mixture over the crust.
5. Add the coconut to the remaining crust mixture – stir to combine. Sprinkle this mixture over the berries, pressing down lightly to adhere.
6. Bake the bars for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden at the fruit is bubbling. Allow bars to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Serve bars at room temperature or chilled – I found that mine were much easier to cut after chilling them in the fridge overnight. Bars will keep, tightly sealed, in the fridge for 2 days.
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes
Thanks for reading, happy baking (and berry picking)!