Jamberry

Monday, July 22, 2013
"One berry
Two berry
Pick me a blueberry.

"Hatberry
Shoeberry
In my canoeberry.

"Under the bridge
And over the dam
Looking for berries
Berries for jam."
- from Jamberry by Bruce Degen

When the girls were small, Jamberry was one of our favourite books to read together.  The rhymes are fun to read, and the pictures are irresistible - a little boy and his bear friend riding a canoe through rapids of blueberries, with marshmallows growing on reeds and bread on tree branches. (Now that I think of it, it sounds like a junior version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".)   Who wouldn't want to live in a world full of berries?

I remembered that book again when I was given a gift of berries.  Last week I wrote about the flooding in our basement, and how the silver lining was all the kindness and concern that people showed us.  It happened again a few days ago, when my dear neighbour Jayne-Ann brought over some berries that she'd picked for us at her cottage.

I didn't make these berries into jam, but I did turn them into a wonderful batch of blueberry bars. Fruit desserts are my favourites, and the more fruit that I can pack in the better.  These bars hit the mark - not too sweet, and oozing with juicy berries.

"Mountains and fountains
Rain down on me
Buried in berries
What a jam jamboree!"
- from Jamberry, Bruce Degen

Blueberry Lemon Bars
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1/2 cup white sugar (first amount)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 egg
1/4 cup white sugar (second amount)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 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 two-thirds of the dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch.  Gently mix in the blueberries, then toss with the lemon juice.  Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust.  Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer and pat gently into place.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

36 comments:

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

That book sounds so sweet, Beth! I’m sure my 5 year old grandsons would enjoy it. Your bars look delectable! Blueberries are so plentiful right now…a perfect dessert for the season!

Kitchen Riffs said...

We're loving all the berries and stone fruit that we're seeing at the moment! So much great stuff to make. These bars look wonderful! I'll bet the blackberry works so well in these. And that sounds like a fun book! Good stuff - thanks.

Gloria Baker said...

just delicious!!

Chris Scheuer said...

This looks so yummy and summery Beth! It's so fun to me when certain foods take you years back in time to sweet memories of days gone by.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love blueberries! I've made a ton of awesome muffin recipes over the years, but I haven't tried anything like these bars - soon will! :)

Bonnie said...

Beth, I remember Jamberry. In fact I think it is still in our school library. The blueberry and lemon bars look yummy. I hope your water problems are solved soon. Bonnie

bamskitchen said...

Hello Beth, Love your little poem and your delicious light and refreshing blueberry lemon bars. A really nice summertime treat. Take Care, BAM

Natalie Aguirre said...

Oh if my husband saw this recipe, he might make me make them right now. We love blueberries so I may have to try them.

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

I love blueberries and lemon together, so I know I'd love these bars. YUM!

Paula Montenegro said...

Some beautiful blueberry bars you made Beth! It´s always nice to share food with neighbours and friends, especially in the middle of an unexpected situation.

kumars kitchen said...

oh yummm, blueberries look so pretty in those luscious bars...absolutely true, guess everyone would love to live in such a wonderland but living on earth is made wonderful when friends stand by our side just like yours did, thanks for your comment :-)

Vicki Bensinger said...

Blueberries and lemons blend so well together. I've never had blueberry lemon bars but will save this to try later. Thanks for sharing.

bakewithjill.com said...

Oh my gosh, these look just perfect!

Patty Price said...

two of my favorites together in a delicious looking bar cookie-lemons and blueberries! Pinned to try later ;)
Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog Beth ;)

Angie Schneider said...

Mildly sweet, tangy and streusel topping...Beth, these berry bars look sensational!

scrambledhenfruit said...

My boys are grown, but I can still probably recite Jamberry by heart! Your berry bars look memorable as well- I love blueberries! :)

Barbara said...

Delicious, Beth. We all love blueberries and they are so good for you! Love our summer fruits in crisps and crumbles. Of course, I'd put a big scoop of ice cream on that and add to the calories!

Valerie said...

I want to live in the world of Jamberry! Marshmallows growing on reeds! Yes, please. And whilst I'm there, may I have a few of your blueberry lemon bars? :D

Belinda said...

You certainly know how to make the most of your berries!

Katerina said...

Berries here are quite expensive and it is quite a luxury to buy them as often as I would like. These bars though tempt me to go straight to the grocery store and buy some!

Liz Berg said...

Oh, I missed the news of your flooding. Ugh...hope you could salvage most of your things. These blueberry bars would certainly cheer me up...they look fantastic!

Joanne said...

So...how have I never read that book!? It must be the one kid's book my mom never bought. Literally.

How sweet to receive a gift of such tasty berries! These lemon blueberry bars sound fabulous!

Natalie G said...

Mmmm this looks wonderful. Berries are my fave.

Juliana Levine said...

Blueberry and lemon is such a great combination...the bar looks delicious, filled with lots of blueberries...
Hope you are having a great week Beth :D

Cindy said...

This book happened to be a favorite of all 6 of our children--so I read it probably 1000 times. Loved the sing songy verse and the pictures were bright and amazing.
So yes, some blueberry bars are in order!

grace said...

these are the most berried berry bars i've ever seen! sweet post, in many ways. :)

bizzybakesb said...

I appreciate how you split the sugar. Sometimes, it is unclear or I put the amount in one cup, planning to split it and forgetting.

Love the poem, love the recipe.

Sarah said...

YUM, these look awesome. Perfect picnic fodder. I can't wait for summer berries.

I Wilkerson said...

A restaurant I like makes fresh fruit coffeecake for breakfast and I always go on the blueberry days. These look like the perfect fruit bar to me! My CSA is delivering blueberries on the 30th--can't wait!

Kayte said...

Oh, this looks incredibly good!

Amy said...

Sounds like a fun book to read with the kids and your Blueberry Lemon Bars is just as wonderful. :)

Danielle Giannandrea said...

We have this book and read it often! A world filled with berries is a nice place to be ; )

These blueberry bars look wonderful. I love fruit deserts too! Especially blueberry-lemon! YUM!

Sorry to hear about your flooding. In times of need it's nice to know there are kind people out there willing to help ♥

Danielle xo

raynatakesthecake said...

This is such a great looking summer desssert! Thanks for sharing!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I can't get enough blueberries so this looks delicious! I'd love it for breakfast... and for snacks.. and all day long! :)

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...
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