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There are lots of blueberry bar recipes out there. But last night, I found my thrill on a different blueberry hill. Sometimes, other recipes spark ideas about something new to do with the tried and true. So I doubled my favorite almond shortbread recipe, baked it up with fresh blueberries in the middle and almonds on top. Know what? It worked, it’s delicious and it’s really pretty, too!

BLUEBERRY ALMOND SHORTBREAD

For filling
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ a lemon, zested
juice of slightly less than ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons cornstarch

For shortbread
1/2 cup almond flour (or 1/2 cup almonds processed till finely ground in a food processor)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (salted), softened
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

For topping
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter an 8″ square baking dish.

Let’s make the filling first. Combine blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice, zest and cornstarch. Set aside.

Next, with a mixer, cream butter, 1/2 cup sugar and almond extract. Add almond flour, all-purpose flour and salt; mix till smooth.

Divide the dough into two equal parts–cover the bottom of the pan completely. Pat dough into the dish, smooth the top of the dough evenly (an offset spatula is very helpful here), then pour blueberry filling evenly over this layer.

To help make an even top layer, drop small pieces of the dough over the blueberry layer, then smooth it out with an offset spatula or a knife. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and turbinado sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. OK, I let the rest of the pan cool completely, but not the quality control squares–those were insanely piping hot. I cut the rest of the pan into oversized squares, then diamonds, ’cause don’t you know, diamonds are a girl’s best friend?

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