If you’re as big a fan of blueberry pie – especially one with a crumb topping – as I am, then these bar cookies are for you and your pie-loving pals. They’re also great for the beach or a picnic. This recipe is number seven in our Baking Together series. Be sure to read all the tips in Holy Bursting Blueberries! before baking.

Makes 16 squares

For the berry filling:

  • 1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) blueberries, rinsed, picked over and well dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


For the crust and crumble:

  • 1 yolk from a large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, chilled
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan (I like the straight-sided kind) with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease the foil.

2. Make the filling. Put the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Add about a quarter of the berries and the lemon zest and, using a fork, mash and stir the berries until the flour mixture is blended into the berry pulp. It will look pasty and very thick. Add the remaining blueberries and stir until evenly coated. Set aside.

3. Make the crust and crumble. Put the egg yolk and vanilla in a small ramekin and use a fork to mix until well blended.

4. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in a food processor. Process until blended, about 2 seconds. Scatter the chilled butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs and the butter is in very small pieces.

5. Drizzle the egg mixture over the flour, then pulse just until the dough forms moist crumbs and the butter is incorporated, about 20 seconds. Remove the dough (it will be loose) from the bowl and divide in half (use a scale if you like).

6. Scatter one half of the dough in the prepared pan and, using lightly floured fingertips, pat it down and into the bottom and corners of the pan to make an even layer. Scrape the blueberry filling over the dough and spread evenly.

7. Add the almonds to the remaining dough and, using your fingers, mix and pinch the dough until it forms crumbles (there will be some big crumbles but mostly small). Scatter the crumbles evenly over the berries without pressing down.

8.  Bake until the top is deep brown and the berries are bubbling around the edges, 50 to 52 minutes. Move the pan to a rack and cool completely.

9.  For easy removal and cutting, refrigerate the pan until well chilled, about 30 to 60 minutes. Use the foil edges on the sides of the pan to lift the cookie from the pan. Carefully peel away the foil and set the cookie on a cutting board. Cut crosswise into 4 equal strips and then cut each strip into 4 squares. (I use a gentle sawing motion to break through the top crust and then firmly push down on the knife.) Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar just before serving, if desired.

Make Ahead
I think the bars are best eaten within a day of baking, but leftovers can be covered and stowed in the refrigerator for up to three days. They are best when served slightly chilled.