blueberry nectarine crumb bars

(Another recipe to try out your new nectarine/peach peeling skills on!)

We had a barbeque/pot-luck last weekend with Andrew's extended family (our annual family-reunion actually!).

I wanted to make something special to bring, but different.  I seem to get stuck in a rut when it comes to potlucks!

I still had a whole box or two of peaches and nectarines to use up, so that part was a given... and then I found a bag of blueberries in my freezer, and this happened:

These rich crumb bars are so buttery and full of fruit...  kind of like eating a piece of pie with an extra buttery crumb crust!

Along with all the other great food that finds its way to potlucks... let's just say, we ate well!  :o)

You could easily substitute peaches for the nectarines, of course, and blackberries or raspberries for the blueberries...  whatever you have on hand.  Just make sure the total fruit equals about 5 cups!

(Mmmm...  peach raspberry bars...  I'm going to have to try that next time!)

Blueberry Nectarine Crumb Bars Recipe
adapted from two peas & their pod

for the fruit filling:
4 cups diced, peeled nectarines
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries
for the crust & topping:
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cold butter, diced
1 large egg, gently beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Generously grease a 9x13" glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl, gently toss together all of the fruit filling ingredients except for the bluberries and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some pieces the sizes of peas.

Stir in the egg and vanilla until the mixture is just moistened.  (This is a very crumbly dough!  It will seem like not enough liquid, but it will work!)

Press half of the dough into the bottom of your greased baking dish.  Spread the fruit mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle the frozen (or fresh) blueberries on top.

(This keeps the blueberries from bleeding into the fruit and turning everything blue...  not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I wanted!)

Crumble the rest of the dough loosely on top of the fruit.  Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.  Serve warm or cool completely and refrigerate.

(These bars are great warm or cold, so feel free to make them a day ahead and store in the fridge!  They also freeze well, just let them thaw before serving!)

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