Honestly, all I could think of after I made these Blueberry Lemon Cream Streusel Bars was that little girl from the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Ronald Dahl. You know, sassy little Violet Beauregarde. The little girl who had been chewing the same piece of gum for like 3 months. Just in case you don’t remember she’s the one who grabs the piece of gum from Willy Wonka , starts turning blue and blows up like a huge blueberry!! Hilarious! Gosh, I just love those old classics! Just good clean fun. No one gets hurts. Kids may turn into blueberries, get tossed down chutes, float hundreds of feet in the air with no security net below only to burp their way down or get beamed into a TV but it’s all in good fun! Those were the days. I remember reading this one myself when I was a kid, then reading it to my boys when they were little.
So why was I thinking of “adorable” little Violet?? You may see where this story is going, am I right?? Clearly, I decided these bars were just too good to stop after one (or two or…). I did stop before my skin turned blue, but I’ll tell ya, it was hard. Thank heaven my son Casey had his friend Mark over and I sent him home with a container full! Thanks Mark! It could have been a catastrophe if you hadn’t stepped in. I really think you are going to like these bars! They’re tart AND sweet with a fabulous crunchy streusel topping with a little hint of cinnamon. This recipe makes a nice 9×13 pan of bars and they take less than an hour to whip up. These bars also freeze really well, so just place some extras in a freezer bag or container and pop one out to defrost to have with a cup of tea or coffee and you’re all set. They will be perfect for your Memorial Day party or your summer picnics.
Let’s go over some interesting blueberry facts today too while we’re at it. They are one of the healthiest foods according to the USDA and are loaded with antioxidants. Blueberries are the official state fruit of New Jersey. New Jersey is one of the top growers of blueberries in the country. Way to go JERSEY! Blueberry picking season begins late June and runs into late August. When you pick blueberries they should have a silvery-blue color to them and should be nice and plump. And lastly, you should avoid picking unripened blueberries that are reddish or greenish in color because blueberries do not ripen after picking. WHEW! That was alot of blueberry facts, but now consider yourself ready to pick some beauties for your summer desserts. I hope you enjoy these bars as much as I do. Enjoy your week! See you back here on Thursday when I will have a SPECIAL post to celebrate a very special event!
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, melted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats not quick oats
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups blueberries washed and dried
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in center of oven. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the ends for easy removal. Lightly spray the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Mixture will be crumbly. Set 2 cups of the mixture aside to reserve for topping. Press remaining mixture into bottom of 9x13 pan. Try to get crust as even as possible. Bake for 12 minutes.
In a medium bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Remove crust from the oven and sprinkle with the blueberries. Drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries and spread with the back of a spoon. Don't worry it won't be perfectly even. Bake for 8 minutes. Sprinkle reserved topping over the lemon mixture and bake for an additional 30 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.
Let the bars cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Lift out of the pan by holding the tinfoil overhang and let cool on wire rack completely. Peel back the tinfoil and cut into bars. You can store the bars at room temperature for an hour or two then refrigerate.