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Blackberry Weekend: Crumbly Lime Bars

August 27, 2011

Not only is this recipe outrageously delicious, it also finally prompted me to buy cornstarch, which I’ve managed to do without for at least a year. There are suddenly so many recipes open to me…Hélène is going to have to put up with thickened everything!

What’s amazing about this recipe is that the triple layer makes it look super complicated but you actually only have to make one dough that serves as the shortbread-type bottom and crumbly top. It isn’t too serious a dessert, so makes an excellent mid-afternoon snack and great potluck item. I just want to spend my days eating these and drinking lemonade on the patio with a great book!

Crumbly Blackberry Lime Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Crumb Bars

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest from one lime
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg

3 cups blackberries
juice from 1/2 lime
heaping 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp cornstarch

Note: This recipe makes more dough than necessary, but I’m sure you can think of a million things to do with the extra: cookies (press flat and bake for 10 minutes), shortbread (press into a small pan and bake until just brown at the edges), crumble top for a fruit crisp (leave as is or mix in oats), or just a second batch of the same recipe!

Mix together all dry ingredients (the first five), then drop in the pieces of butter and the egg. Blend with a pastry cutter, ideally, or a fork until you have just small crumbs and no obvious butter chunks.

Press dough into the bottom of a greased 8×8 pan forming a 1/2 inch layer.

Mix together the lime juice, sugar and cornstarch, then add the blackberries and toss carefully. Spread the berries evenly across the dough.

Crumble extra dough (as much or as little as you like) on top of the berries. Don’t worry if it all seems to crumbly – the butter will melt in the oven and fix it all together.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes (check at 30) until the crumbly top has just started to brown. Let cool (refrigerate as well, if you have time) before serving. The fruit will gel nicely and you’ll get perfect bars!

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