Consider these blueberry peach streusel bars.
I don’t exactly know what that means, but an old menu on display in the Art Institute of Chicago suggested people “consider the oyster,” and I figured I’d give it a go. More on that later. Let’s talk about freezers.
Freezers are so handy! (I’m going somewhere with this I promise.) This time of year, we even have an additional, complementary freezer right outside. Thanks, December! That reminds me, I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday, full of family, friends, and good food.
Back to freezers.
If you can feel an ice cream craving in the future and want to be prepared for it, and/or if you want things in the winter that you can only get locally in the summer: freezers have got ya covered.
You know what that means…
BERRIES AND STONE FRUIT IN THE WINTER YAAAAAY!
Of course, fruit encased in ice will never rival the real deal, sun-ripened and fresh-picked, but hey, baked into streusel bars who’s going to be able to tell? You also have recipes like blueberry sweet rolls that actually require frozen blueberries, so that works out quite well.
If you’re still not big on using yeast—although if I can make the sweet rolls, so can you!—then these bars are the perfect alternative.
Deliciously sweet with just the right amount of crisp crust and streusel to balance out the juicy, fruity, filling. And blueberries and peaches are truly THE combination for fruit fillings. Seriously, if I’m combining fruits with something other than chocolate, blueberries and peaches would be right at the top of the list.
PLUS these even have the family stamp of approval (which is suuuuuper!). I made them the day before we left for my grandparent’s house, and we had them as dessert after dinner. On Christmas, actually. I know what you’re thinking. Why did we not have Chinese food?!? We Jews like to switch things up occasionally. Instead we had a delicious meal prepared by my grandparents, and let me tell you, that beats Chinese any day. (We did have Chinese yesterday for dinner… We just couldn’t stay away!)
It is while I sit here writing this post, though, that we encounter a slight problem. See, I could tell you a thousand times that these bars are delicious. I could reinforce that my family thought these were delicious, and I could describe the flavors over and over again. But if the pictures aren’t exciting, then when you “consider these blueberry peach streusel bars,” you just won’t be convinced to make them. That’s the way it works with food—I know!
Luckily I have apprehended some useful tips on this matter! We spent the day yesterday in Chicago and visited the “Art and Appetite” exhibit at the Art Institute. Oh, man, don’t go in there hungry. It doesn’t work like the wall in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Really, it was a great exhibit, and I encourage everyone to go!
Nothing like a bajillion rooms adorned with paintings of food to inspire a curious cook pretending she knows how to use a camera.
If I had it to do over again, I might have added several spoons to the photos to emphasize that these bars are a treat to share with many.
I probably should have stationed the bars in close proximity to some dining room furniture with game caught from a hunt carved into the drawer handles, you know, just to casually symbolize man’s “mastery” over nature.
It undoubtedly would have been a good idea to include a glass of wine right splat in the center of the picture to show temperance, and some blueberries artfully tumbling out of the freezer bag would have been a nice touch.
While it’s too late to incorporate these new tips into this post’s photos, at least I have them for next time. And for the record, I will NOT be attempting to paint anything!
If you enjoyed this post, please “consider” clicking the gray follow button on the left side of the screen, or at the bottom of the page, to receive email updates about new posts. Thanks for reading!
Blueberry Peach Streusel Bars
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup thinly sliced peach, peeled, fresh or frozen
Crust + Topping
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole rolled oats (or quick oats)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 Tablespoons margarine, melted
1. Make the filling first by combining the blueberries, sugar, and orange juice into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute, then whisk for 1 minute. Mix the cornstarch with 3-4 teaspoons of warm water, until it resembles milk (if you don’t mix with water, you will have white chunks in the filling). Add the watered down cornstarch to the blueberry mixture. Simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. I poured mine into a bowl and refrigerated it until I was ready to use it.
2. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Toss with a large spoon. Add the melted margarine and mix until the mixture is crumbly. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Press so that the crust is tight and even. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, which will allow it to set.
3. Remove crust from the oven after 10 minutes and spread the blueberry filling on top. Top with the peeled and sliced peach, as shown in the photo above. Top with the remaining oat crumble.
4. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the topping it lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours before cutting into squares. The bars will not cut if you do not chill them for 3+ hours.