Huckleberry season is short, so grab some and make these yummy Huckbleberry Crumb Bars. Huckleberries are native to the Pacific Northwest and Montana. When I found these huckleberries at the local farmers market I knew exactly what I wanted to make and these bars turned out spectacular. The crust and crumble are sweet and buttery which goes perfectly together.
Why This Recipe Tastes So Good
The right combination of all-purpose flour, sugar and butter creates and great tasting shortbread cookie based that holds up under the weight of the fruit, and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The combination of white sugar and brown sugar makes for deeper flavor. For a golden brown bottom crust the crust is prebaked before adding the fruit. The fruit is mixed with cornstarch to ensure it thickens while it bakes. In the end you end up with beautiful fruit crumb bar that's easy to make and share.
If you're interested in other recipes that you can make with Huckleberries, check out my recipes for Blueberry Coffee Cake and Blackberry Hand Pies. You'll need to change the amount of sugar, since Huckleberries are more tart than blackberries.
This recipe consists of two base recipes. One for the crumb base and topping and one for the fruit.
Crumb Base and Topping. This is an easy to make crumb base. Melted butter is added to the dry ingredients and them mixed together until no white bits of the flour-mixture remains. The combination of white sugar and brown sugar creates a beautiful flavor.
Huckleberry Filling. Huckleberries are a dark tart berry. They make a great addition to this type of dessert as the tart flavor contrasts nicely with the sweet base and topping. As with any fruit, make sure to taste the fruit as the sugar is added, since the sweetness of the fruit can vary. If you don't have huckleberries, use blueberries and make a blueberry crumb bar.
How to Make the Crumb Base and Topping
The crumb base consists of the following ingredients:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Brown Sugar. You can also use dark brown sugar which will have more molasses flavor and darker color.
- Unsalted Butter. Use unsalted butter instead of salted butter so you can control the amount and taste of salt.
- Baking Powder. The baking powder gives a nice lift to the crust, so it doesn't end up too compact.
- Kosher Salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs the sides. The parchment will prevent the bars from sticking and be used as a sling to lift the bars out of the pan
Start my measuring all your ingredients and placing them individual bowls. Measure the butter directly into the small saucepan you'll use to melt the butter. This step ensures that you don't miss a step or accidentally forget an ingredient.
Place all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine all the ingredients. Add the melted butter and vanilla and together with a silicone spatula until no white flour bits remain.
Press a portion of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake until golden brown. Place the rest of the mixture in the refrigerator. This portion will be used as the topping for the crumb bars.
How to Make and Bake the Fruit Filling
The fruit filling couldn't be simpler. Huckleberries are native to the Pacific Northwest and Montana. Huckleberries are related to blueberries, but smaller and much more tart. The colors range from dark purple to blue and sometimes appear almost black.
The filling consists of the following ingredients:
- Huckleberries. Blueberries are an excellent substitute if you can't get huckleberries.
- Cornstarch. The cornstarch thickens the fruit layer.
- Granulated Sugar. Taste the fruit and adjust the sugar based on the sweetness of the fruit. Huckleberries are really tart, so 1/2 cup was just right to add sweetness, but maintain that tart flavor.
- Kosher Salt
One the filling is done, spread it across the top of the baked crust, top the berries with the remaining crumble and bake until the berries are bubbling. Remember to increase the oven temperature to 375°F so the oven is hot enough to cook the fruit.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the bars cool until they are room temperature, about 1 hour.
Use the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan and cut into 16 squares.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Be sure to line the baking pan with parchment paper. This step facilitates the removal of the bars from the pan.
- Run a butter knife around the edges of the bars while they are still warm to loosen the bars from the parchment paper.
- Let the bars cool completely completely before lifting them from the pan, at least an hour.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use blueberries or raspberries with this recipe.
These bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days and in the refrigerator for a week.
These Huckleberry Crumb Bars are a delicious treat and you should definitely get the recipe and try them. If you're on Instagram, please connect with and show me your pictures if you make this desserts. I'm always happy to hear from you so please don't hesitate to ask a question or leave a comment.
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Huckleberry Crumb Bars
Crumb Base and Topping
- 1-3/4 cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
- 12 tablespoons (169 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (300 grams) huckleberries
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Crumb Base and Topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9x9-inch baking pan. Line the pan with two lengths of parchment paper so it overhangs all four sides. Set the pan aside.
- Place the all-purpose flour in a medium-sized bowl. Add the baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, granulated sugar, light brown sugar and whisk until the ingredients are well combined.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix together. The crumble will be soft. Take 350 grams of the crumble and press it into the bottom of the 9x9-inch baking pan. Refrigerate the remaining crumble.
- Bake the crumble for 18-20 minutes until it’s light brown in the center and dark golden brown around the edges.
- When the crust is done, remove it from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.
- Place the huckleberries in a medium-sized bowl. In a small bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt and whisk together. Sprinkle it over the berries and gently toss to combine the dry mixture and the berries.
- Wait until the oven reaches the temperature of 375°F. Spread the berries across the top of the cookie base. Take the remaining crumble and spread it across the berries. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack. While the bars are still warm run a knife around the edge of the bars to loosen them from the sides of the pan.
- Let the crumb bars cool completely, then use the parchment sling to lift the bars from the pan and cut into squares or rectangles. This recipe makes 16 2-1/8 x 2-1/8 inch bars.
- The bars are good for two days at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for 1 week. The longer the bars sit the softer the cookie base will become.