Do you remember dessert pizza from Pizza Hut? It was topped with blueberry pie filling, a cinnamon-oat crumble and a sugary icing drizzle. I used to beg my mom to take me to Pizza Hut knowing the lunch buffet always had dessert pizza.
If a dessert has cinnamon, I’m eating it. If a dessert has cinnamon and blueberry, you bet I’m going to eat the entire batch. Over the winter, I made Tutti Dolci’s Blueberry Skillet Crumbles on a weekly basis. The warm crumble topped with french vanilla ice cream is a quick and easy dessert for chilly winter nights. The first time we made it, the whole skillet was gone in about 5 minutes. A warm dessert isn’t ideal for a hot summer day, so I wanted to convert the recipe to a summer friendly dessert.
First is the crust. A typical crumb bar crust is a mixture of butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and flour. A crumble is baked, sweetened fruit topped with an oat, butter, flour and sugar mixture. Oh, can’t forget the ice cream! I wanted to create a hybrid. After a few experiments, I added oats and cinnamon to the recipe and decided to scratch the lemon zest. To add some more flavor, I used some light brown sugar. The crust turned out perfect!
You’ll want to put half of the dough in the fridge and press the other half into a 9×13 pan. I like to grease the pan with crisco, put a layer of parchment paper and grease again. Once the crumble is done, it is much easier to pull out of the pan and cut into squares. Bake the first layer for 10 minutes and start on the filling.
The filling is the easy part.
Two pints of blueberries from the Richland Park Farmers Market, sugar, arrowroot starch, fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Let it macerate until the crust has cooled and spread the filling over it. I kept extra blueberries on hand to fill any open spaces once the filling is leveled. Top the filling with the remaining dough. Be sure to crumble it over the filling enough to cover the whole dish, but still leaves spots of the yummy blueberry filling showing through. Back to the oven it goes.
Now, we wait.
Forty minutes later, pull that baby out and let it cool.I know, it smells really good and you just want to cut a tin little piece… DON’T DO IT! Once it has cooled, you can easily pull it out of the pan if you used parchment paper. I like to place it on my large wooden cutting board for the next steps. Obviously I could not top these little bites with ice cream as I do in the blueberry skillet crumbles recipe. These Blueberry Crumble Bars are meant to be easy to transport and able to stand the heat of the summer.
In a bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and milk. I didn’t have milk on hand, so I used a little heavy cream and buttermilk. YUM! Drizzle the icing over the dish in whatever pattern you would like. I let mine set overnight and cut it first thing in the morning. If you cut 1.5-2 inch squares, you should get about 36 pieces.
Just looking at that photo has me thinking I’ll whip up another batch tonight!
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. milk, heavy cream or buttermilk
- Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using shortening, grease a 9x13 baking dish, line with parchment paper and grease the top of the parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, rolled oats and cinnamon. Once blended, add dry ingredients and fold in until fully combined.
- Refrigerate half of the dough and press the other half into the bottom of the 9x13 dish. Bake for 10 minutes and remove to cool for about 15 minutes.
- For the filling, mix sugar, salt and cornstarch large mixing bowl. Add blueberries and lemon juice; gently toss the mixture. Let berries macerate until the crust has cooled.
- Spread the blueberry mixture over the crust and crumble the refrigerated topping over the filling.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crumble is golden.
- Whisk sifted confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and milk until desired consistency. Pour into a liquid measuring cup or squeeze bottle and drizzle over cooled crumble.
- Cut into desired size and enjoy!