" I would definitely recommend starting an herb garden if you have not already."
I decided to try out adding an herb to the mix to change up my typical fruit/streusel combo. Fresh herbs work really well in desserts. The earthy and bright tones of many herbs pair beautifully with the sweetness of desserts, especially those with fruit! Here, I paired blueberries and thyme, but other interesting combinations are strawberries and basil, or peaches and rosemary. Incorporating citrus in baked desserts is great, too, because the citrus can help cut the sweetness.
Being able to harvest herbs just outside my house has made delicious desserts both convenient and easy. I would definitely recommend starting an herb garden if you have not already. Many herbs grow bountifully and fast, and this allows you to make herb-based food products (pesto!!) in large quantities and freeze it. I used fresh thyme from our garden in the streusel portion of this recipe.
Here are some important things to consider for this recipe. First make sure your butter is cold! This is key to ensure you have a “crumble” like consistency versus a “crisp” consistency. Feel free to put the base/topping ingredients in the food processor, but in my tiny apartment kitchen I am a little limited equipment-wise, so I just used my hands! You are looking to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles crumbles the size of peas. Make sure the bars have completely come to room temperature before removing them from the pan so that they stay together. The Smart Baker Perfect Parchment 8x8 Square size works perfect for this recipe, because you can easily pick up the sides of the parchment once the bars have cooled. You will have clean edges on the bars, not to mention a super easy cleanup!
Lemon Thyme Blueberry Bars
Lemon Thyme Blueberry Bar
Chef Jordan Weber
To change up your typical fruit/streusel combo, try adding an herb to the mix. Fresh herbs in desserts work really well. The earthy and bright tones of many herbs pair beautifully with the sweetness of desserts especially those with fruit!
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups blueberries, washed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup granulated sugar
Base & Topping
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Place a 8x8 square piece of Perfect Parchment in a 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, rolled oats, salt, baking powder, and thyme leaves. Whisk to combine.
With your hands or a pastry cutter, incorporate the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the butter resembles the size of small peas.
In a small bowl beat the egg and add in the vanilla.
Stir the egg/vanilla mixture into the butter/dry ingredient mixture. The mixture should now resemble a shaggy dough.
In another medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the blueberry layer and stir to combine.
Divide the topping mixture in half and press half of it evenly into the bottom of the prepared 8x8 inch pan to form the base layer.
Pour the blueberry mixture evenly onto the base layer.
Top with the remaining half of the butter/dry ingredient mixture.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Let sit in the pan for about 1 hour to get to room temperature before slicing.
Slice into 12 squares and enjoy!
Feel free to put the base/topping ingredients in the food processor, but in my tiny apartment kitchen I am a little limited equipment-wise, so I just used my hands