Feeling Crumby

This is the never-ending blueberry bucket!

Every time I bring fresh fruit into the house and ask hubby what I should make with it,  he always suggests pie.

I don’t do pie.  I keep telingl him in a very loud, shout-y voice that I just don’t do pie.

Pie crust is too high maintenance. It wants you to chill individual ingredients before you can start working, it has to be mixed in a certain kind of bowl, the butter has to be cut into precise little chunks, and you can’t work the dough too much or it gets all tough and rubbery.  Let’s face it. Butter and flour makes crackers. Why would I want to put all of my specially hand-picked fruit on top of what basically amounts to a Ritz?


I confess.

The truth is I don’t like making pie because I don’t know how.

Every time I’ve tried it’s been a disaster.

I really, really tried to harness the culinary skills of a repressed 50’s housewife, but even watching two days worth of Leave it to Beaver reruns failed to conjure up any ability to make this classic dessert.

And what do people who can’t make pie do?

They make crumbles.

I started with the ingredients. Flour, sugar, butter, egg, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, blueberries,  and lemon zest.

I combined the flour, sugar, butter ( I used smart balance because I didn’t actually have any real butter), salt and lemon zest.

Using a fork, I cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly.

In another bowl, I combined the lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar before folding in the blueberries.

Then I pressed the crumb mixture into the pan.


Pour the blueberry mixture over your crust.

 Sprinkle the remaining crumbles on top.

Place in the oven to bake.

Take out of the oven after 1o minutes because you realize you forgot that you wanted to add almonds.

Chop almonds maniacally.

Sprinkle over partially cooked crumb mixture and place back in the oven.

After its finished cooking, take it out of the oven to taunt your family cool.

Make family watch boring reruns of America’s Funniest Home Videos until it’s time to dig in.

Due to the gluten-free trial diet, I had to finagle my fork around the crumbles and scoop up the blueberry bits.

 Later, as we were all huddled around the oven (because the urgency of diving in to the warm, bubbling blueberry bars took precedence over actually walking three feet to sit down in chairs) it occurred to me that this really needed a scoop of  cold ice cream.

We thought it would be uncouth to go to the store in our jam jams, so this called for some good old-fashioned homemade ice cream.

Using almond milk.

And zip lock bags.

Just like in my 7th grade science experiment.

I used Unsweetened Almond milk but any kind of milk or milk alternative will work.

Fill a gallon sized zip lock bag half way with ice and pour in a generous amount of ice cream salt (apparently sea salt works too). Then pour a cup of almond milk into a sandwich bag and make sure it is sealed tightly. Put the sandwich bag with the milk into the larger bag with ice and shake vigorously for about five minutes. When you’ve finished your upper body workout, the milk should resemble shaved ice.

Pour into an adorable dessert cup and enjoy.

Recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars

1 cup sugar in the raw or white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup  sugar in the raw or white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup chopped almonds

   1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

   2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

   3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

   4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

That would be a dollop of fresh blueberry jam on the almond milk ice cream. I really am going to turn into Violet Beauregarde.


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