Apple Blueberry Crumble Bars

Yield: 12 to 16 large bars
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (I use Heartland Mill organic)
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks/6 ounces) butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Top Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz) butter or natural vegetable oil sticks (I use Earth Balance)

Middle Layer
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3 generous cups unpeeled chopped apples (about 5 small/19 oz)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon if pre-ground)

Instructions: 

For the Bottom Layer:
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers. I also use the bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup to help make the crust flat and even.

For the Top Layer:
Place the flour, brown sugar, and butter or vegetable oil sticks in a small bowl and use a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers to combine until the mixture resembles large crumbs (some pea-sized clumps are okay). Set aside.

For the Middle Layer:
Place the blueberries and apples in the bowl you mixed the bottom layer in. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and toss until well combined.

Sprinkle the top layer evenly over the fruit mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the top is golden and looks “dry,” but the edges aren’t too brown, about 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream if desired. Store leftover bars in a cool place or refrigerate. They may also be individually wrapped in plastic and frozen.

Recipe Source: Farmgirl Fare

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