Mosquitoes The Size Of House Cats And Saskatoon Crumble Bars

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Every summer, around the middle of July, we go saskatoon berry picking.  Saskatoon berries are native to western Canada and north-western United States.  They are similar to a blueberry in color and size, but saskatoon berries grow on tall bushes, where blueberries are found very low to the ground.  Saskatoon berries are more tart than blueberries and have a less mushy texture.  Not to dis the blueberry, but saskatoon berries are actually higher in protein, fiber, vitamin C, iron, and potassium than the blueberry.  Saskatoons can be interchanged in any recipe that you would normally use blueberries, and they are easier to pick.  It’s a win win!

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This year, due to the incessantly long winter, and the rainy, wet spring, the saskatoon berries were abundant. And huge! They literally dripped off the bushes! And not surprisingly, they are delicious!

However, to get access to that heavenly fruit, you had to beat back mosquitoes that were the size of house cats.  It was +30 degrees Celsius outside, and the humidity made it feel like you were picking berries on the surface of the sun. Sweat dripped into our eyes and burned like battery acid, but there was no way that we were passing up the opportunity to pick saskatoons.  However, it was so muggy and mosquito infested that we had two pickers (my teenage boys) give up about 10 minutes into it and they waited for the rest of us in the car. Wimps.

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We picked close to 30 lbs of berries in just under 1-1/2 hours. Now my freezer is stocked for cakes, jam, syrup, or whatever else I feel like making all winter long. And that includes these delicious saskatoon crumble squares. Soooo worth the mosquito bites!

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Saskatoon Crumble Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9"x13" pan - about 48 squares

If saskatoon berries are not available where you live, then simply interchange the saskatoons with blueberries.

Ingredients

    For The Base And Crumble Topping
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup butter, lightly chilled and cubed
  • For The Saskatoon Filling
  • 4 - 5 cups fresh or frozen saskatoon berries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 slightly heaping teaspoons cornstarch

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and lemon zest. Add the vanilla, egg, and butter cubes. Use a pastry cutter, or two knives, to cut the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until crumbly. There should be visible tiny lumps of butter.

Line a 9"x13" baking dish with parchment paper. Transfer a little more than half of the flour mixture to the baking dish and press the base lightly with your hands.

In a separate bowl, combine the saskatoon berries, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix well until the berries are coated. Pour the saskatoons over the base and sprinkle any of the cornstarch and sugar that may have settled to the bottom of the bowl over the berries.

Crumble the remaining butter/flour mixture evenly over the berries. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool before cutting it into squares.

Notes

Adapted from: Love Bakes Good Cakes

http://myfriendsbakery.ca/blog/saskatoon-crumble-bars/

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3 comments

    • My Friend's Bakery says:

      I love them too. I’ll pick saskatoons over blueberries every day of the week. I hope you try these squares, they’re delicious.

  1. Renee M Thompson says:

    These bars turned out great. The only change I would make is to use more berries to balance out the crust and topping or use less crust and topping.

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