Who knew that while gallavanting through Portland I would actually get a chance to bake up something myself?
Well, I did. My boyfriend, Josh, had come to me a few days before vacation to tell me that his grandmother (a master baker if I ever knew one) wanted to know if I'd like to bake something for the family while I was up there.
But, I had my plan. I knew blueberries were a big deal up in Maine, so I had bookmarked this recipe from Kirbie's Cravings for Blueberry Pie Bars. They seemed simple enough but still able to pack a punch, and I really was (as always) in it to win it.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: do you see these eggs?
Now you know me; as a college student I can't afford to jump on the organic bandwagon. But when I didn't have enough eggs and mentioned this to Josh's grandmother, she said simply "oh we will see if Karen's chickens laid any today."
Yes, my friends, these eggs came from a chicken that morning. They do not joke around up here about fresh ingredients. Josh's aunt Karen owns a few, and now I had the honor of utilizing the freshest eggs I could ever possibly hope to obtain in my blueberry pie bars. I love this place.
So, into the oven it goes, and thank you Kirbie's Cravings, because the scent of this quickly filled the house and even reached the adjacent porch. Soon I had questions of "how long until it'd be done?" "Do we have ice cream to go with it?"
We served them up with a small scoop of vanilla, and I have to say I, with everyone else at the table, cleaned my plate when it came to these. A golden, crispy top with an almost custard-like texture in the center, bursting with fresh blueberry flavor - these are a crowd-pleaser if I ever knew one. They went almost too quickly in my opinion, and so I think it may be necessary to double the recipe next time I make it.
So ends my wonderful vacation in Maine. Parting was of course, such sweet sorrow, but I can only hope that I will return to the food-loving city again soon so that I may explore even more of it's deep culinary treasures.
Blueberry Pie Bars Slightly Adapted Via Kirbie's Cravings
for the crust/topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter
for the filling:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz fresh blueberries
**Preheat oven to 350 and grease one 9x9 in pan with butter/cooking spray**
1. Make the crust/topping. Sift together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut cold butter into the flour mixture. Use pastry cutter or two knives to begin mixing butter into flour mixture, then use clean hands to continue until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Save 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the topping and use the rest to press into a well-greased 9x9 square pan.
2. Make the filling. Whisk together sugar and eggs in medium bowl until well combined. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla extract. Fold in flour until just combined then gently fold in blueberries. Pour filling on top of crust and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, until it just begins to brown around the edges.
3. Serve up like a cobbler while still warm OR let cool completely to cut into bars.