Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Forgetful Blueberries

The week of blueberries continues with these amazing, yet bewildering bars. I say bewildering because somewhere in the combination of ordinary ingredients a strange alchemy occurs. The result is a bar with peculiarly amnesiac qualities.

This is the situation: husband approaches the cooling bars on the counter and asks politely if he may have one. (A wise and well-trained blogger's husband ALWAYS asks first.) Given the green light he helps himself to one and proceeds to eat it with pleasure and much finger-licking.

Ten minutes later, same husband approaches the bars and again asks if he may try one. "Try one? Didn't you just have one?" I reply. "Um, no, I don't remember having one," he says, eyes wide with innocence, and plucks up another.

You see what I mean? They're so good that they induce amnesia. You forget all about that first one and go back for seconds, even thirds, forgetting that you've even had one. So enjoy the bars, but beware....

Forget Me Not Bars
- adapted from Fine Cooking

8 oz (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
13-1/2 oz (3 cups) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
1-1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg, separated
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2-1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries (about 13 oz), washed and drained on paper towels

1- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 deg. F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the ends. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.

2- In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking powder. With your fingers blend the butter completely into the flour mixture. Transfer 2 cups of the crumble mixture to another bowl and set it aside for the topping.

3- Blend the egg white into the remaining crumbs and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Press firmly to level the crumbs. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes, until it starts to form a dry top.

4- While the crust is cooking, in a medium bowl whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Let this mixture stand for 5 minutes; it will begin to thicken.

5- Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the hot crust and then drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries. Spread gently with a spatula to distribute it a little more evenly, being careful not to crush the berries. It's fine if the lemon mixture isn't perfectly even. Bake until the lemon mixture just begins to form a shiny skin, 7 to 8 minutes.

6- Sprinkle the reserved topping over the lemon-blueberry layer, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle. Bake until the filling is bubbling at the edges and the topping is brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

6- Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack until just warm, about an hour. Carefully lift them out of the pan using the foil overhang and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the foil and cut into 24 bars when cool. The bars may be stored at room temperature for a few hours, but otherwise should be kept in the refrigerator.

(Note: As I was typing this up, the part in Step 5 of baking for 7 to 8 minutes sounded totally foreign to me. Did I do that step or did I just go straight to sprinkling the topping over it? I totally don't remember. See the mysterious power of the bars?)


Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, my hubby asks "have you photographed it yet?". ;)

These look insanely good! I can understand why your husband went for seconds.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I LOVE the mix of ingredients - great bars worthy of the amnesia, hahaha :)

Amber Spiegel said...

Those look delicious!!

Debbie said...

Love blueberry bars. I make these in the summer when there are plenty of fresh blueberries around!

grace said...

it's definitely the sign that you have a good recipe on your hands when excuses to eat more and feigned innocence result. blessed blueberries--is there any dessert they can't enhance?

Melinda said...

I am already senile so I will probably notice no new effects.
Perhaps I will need 3 to start off with.

Aimée said...

Tee hee. How innocent.
Lynn- I'm loving these bars. That struesel-like topping has got me all hungry now.

Cindy said...

I have a blueberry bar recipe on my blog that is yummy but these look wonderful! I will have to try them--do you think they would freeze well?

Miss High Heels said...

I've obviously got my work cut out for me as my future husband still hasn't learnt to ask first. Your blueberry bars have got me very excited for the Southern hemisphere summer!

Unknown said...

I love how you have 'trained' your husband :P

The bars look great, do you think this would work with other fruits?

Barbara said...

Adding sweetened condensed milk to ANY dessert recipe makes it a favorite with me. I was looking for a fruit type bar for a coffee I am having the end of the month. You have solved my problem!

eatme_delicious said...

Haha cute post, lucky husband. =) I love crumb bars like this.

Katrina said...

Ha, I love it!
And I love a crumbly bar with berries inside. Mmmm!

Annie Mouse said...

oooh, I just made these! I loved this recipe these bars are awesome.

Elle said...

Forget me nots are blue, too. Great name for these cute cookies...and I always love bar cookies.

blazin said...

I just made them with raspberries and they are super yummy!