[VIDEO] Small Batch Blueberry Chia Seed Shortbread Crumb Bars

Layers of homemade buttery and creamy shortbread crust, filled with homemade fresh and thick Blueberry Chia Seed Jam and topped with more of the shortbread crumble. That is what you can expect for this Blueberry Chia Seed Shortbread Crumb Bars, I really have to get all that words in that title 🙂

Blueberry Crumb Bars By SweetNSpicyLiving

Crumb Bar is one of my favourite Summer dessert. It never fail to brighten up my Summer days, in fact, it is a MUST (happy to oblige) for me to make crumb bars. Summer is just not complete without them. See how many of them I’ve made so far, I had listed them at the end of this post under featured posts.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

What is Crumb Bars?

Crumb Bars are a pastry bar dessert that is topped with crumble toppings. The toppings could be anything from the same crust that is used as the base crust, to a mix of dough, sugar and nuts to make a crumble topping . The dough is crumbled on top, thus the name “Crumble Bars”. The key thing is to crumble something on top.

Small Batch Blueberry  Chia Seed Jam  Shortbread Crumb Bars

The Fruit Filling

Thee filling is very versatile , this is one thing that I love about crumb bars. Once you have a good base recipe for the crust and crumble, you can change the filling and make different variations everyone you make it. You can use fresh fruits, jams or a combination of both. Berries are my favorite during Summer time, but it can easily be change depending on the season. Fall for instance calls for anything with 🎃 Pumpkin and 🍏 Apple.

  • Jam – homemade or store bought will work. Making homemade jam is so easy, I encourage you to try it. For this recipe, I made my own homemade Chunky Blueberry Seed Jam. When using as a pie, tart or bar filling, I like making the jam chunky
  • Fresh Fruits – this is so far 3rd preference if not using homemade jam. A great way to make use of the fresh fruits on its barest form. If this is the way that you are going, make sure to taste the fruit so you can decide how much sugar you should add. You will also need to add cornstarch so that it thickens the sauce, about 1 tablespoon.
  • Jam + Fresh Fruits – if I have both of these, I will definitely go for this option. This is a treat between the world of fresh fruit and jam. You don’t need to add extra sugar because the jam is already sweet as it is. I usually do 3/4 cup jam and 1/3 cup fresh fruits.
Blueberry SHortbread Crumb Bars

Blind Baking the Crust

The crust of this is similar to a shortbread in terms of most of the ingredients. Butter, flour and sugar. You have an option to blind bake or pre-bake the crust before adding the filling. If often do this to avoid having a soggy crust. This is more important if you are using fresh fruits as fresh fruits tends to release juice as it bakes. Blind baking is simply baking the crust first before putting the filling. This is a technique that is often used when making 🥧 pie. If you do not have time to blind bake the crust, another technique that works for me is to bake the crumb bar at the lowest rack. This way the bottom is close to the heat, this makes sure the crust is fully baked and the bottom not too soggy. Blind baking also assure that the crust is properly baked since it will be covered by filling and crumbs on top. This layers will block the heat from reaching the bottom.

Dough Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted Butter, cubed and softened (but not melted, just enough to create a dent when you push your finger in the butter)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Frozen or Fresh Blueberry
  • 1/4 cup granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Chia Seed (Black or White)
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice

Note:  Double the recipe for a bigger batch and bake in 8 x 8-inch pan. Start with the suggested 350F at 35-45 minutes time and adjust baking time as needed.

Instructions:

  1. Make the Blueberry Chia Seed Jam: It is advisable to make the jam at least 1 day ahead to allow the jam to thicken. Mix sugar and cornstarch. Transfer in a pan. Add Blueberry and cook over low heat for about 5 – 10 minutes. Continue stirring to avoid burning and sticking to the pan. Once there is no more visible sugar and cornstarch and the Blueberry juice has come out, add lemon juice and chia seed. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes. You want whole Blueberries so be gentle in mixing it and do not over cooked to avoid getting mush up. Transfer in a jar and partially cover with lid. This will prevent the top from drying up. Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.
    • Alternatively, you can also use fresh Blueberry (1 cup), or store-bought jam, or a combination of fresh Blueberry and jam. You can also use other types of jam. I have other variations below, scroll down at the end of this post.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray with oil and line a 5-inch or  8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Make sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
  3. Make the Filling: Mix all the filling ingredients and refrigerate while you prepare the crust. Drain and remove excess juice before using later.
  4. Make the Crust: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the mixture. Using a pastry blender, press and mix the butter in the flour. Using your hands, continue mixing until coarse crumbs forms and it starts to clump together into a dough.
    • With Food Processor: Simply put all ingredients in the food processor and pulse/mix until it forms into a dough.
  5. Chill the Crust: Divide the dough crust into 2 portions. Press 3/4 portion into the pan, firmly press it down into an even layer. Put in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to harden the crust before blind baking (pre-baking) it. Reserve remaining 1/4 portion of the dough mixture for topping, keep refrigerated while you pre-bake the dough crust.
  6. Pre-bake the Crust: Take out the chilled crust from the refrigerator. Pre-bake the dough crust at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Take out from the oven.
  7. Add the Filling & Toppings: Spread the blueberry filling mixture over the pre-baked dough pressed into the pan. Remove the remaining 1/4 of the dough crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle on top of blueberry filling. Return to the oven and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top and the juices are bubbling. Check at 25 minutes mark to see if the top are already browning. Remember that the based crust has been baked already, so you only need the crumble topping to bake. As soon as you it nicely browned and bake, you can remove it from the oven even before the 35 – 45 minutes mark.
  8. Cool: Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing. Texture gets even better if left to chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr.

Makes  6 – 8 bars for big batch (8×8 square pan), and 4 bars for small batch (5×5-square pan)

Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.

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Hi, I'm Marilou. Welcome to my website SweetNSpicyLiving. My website is where I share my passion for baking, cooking, photography and traveling. It's a small piece of my Sweet & Spicy Life that I like to share with you.

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