Blueberries are the superfood king of health benefits. They are easy to eat; rinse and pop a few in your mouth to get that blueberry taste. What you buy in the grocery store is what they call cultivated. They are planted and harvested to be sold as a product. The other type is "wild," which means it is grown in the wild.
Wild blueberries are only grown commercially in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Maine. However, cultivated blueberries can be planted and raised worldwide, ending up in our grocery stores for us to enjoy.
I want to take a trip to Maine and maybe Quebec to experience picking wild blueberries for myself. I would love to see them in the wild.
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Blueberries and Health Benefits
So is there a difference between cultivated and wild blueberries concerning health benefits? Let's take a look.
According to Superfoodsrx.com the most significant difference is size. The wild is much smaller, so if you take 80 to 90 cultivated blueberries in a cup vs. 150 wild blueberries, the wild variety will have more health benefits because there are more blueberries. Healthline.com give ten health benefits:
- Blueberries are low in calories but high in nutrients
- King of Antioxidant
- Reduce DNA damage
- Fights damaging cholesterol
- May lower blood pressure
- It might help prevent heart disease
- Could maybe help maintain brain function and improve memory
- It May have anti-diabetes effects
- It might help fight urinary tract infections
- It might reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise
So I love buying blueberries from the store and just snacking on them, and I think you can see why they are called the superfood based on the benefits.
Ingredients For Filling and ShortbreadJump to Recipe for Amounts
Home Made Blueberry Filling
- Fresh Blueberries
- Sugar white
- Corn starch
- Lemon juice
- Vanilla Extract
- Butter unsalted
- Butter unsalted
- Sugar white
- All-purpose flour
- Lemon zest
- Ground cinnamon
- Kosher Salt
Making the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Bars
This recipe instructions show how to make the Blueberry Filling plus the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Bars. But you can also find the Home Made Blueberry Filling here as a stand-alone recipe that you can print out.
So let's get started!
Prepare Blueberry Filling
To start, juice one lemon. You want a good tablespoon to mix with the cornstarch.
1. Add the sugar and 3 cups of blueberries to a saucepan. Turn the stove on to medium heat and bring to a boil. Keep stirring.
2. You want the blueberries to soften and start to break apart. I use the back of my wooden spoon to help crush the blueberries. Do this for about 5-8 minutes.
3. Take the cornstarch and add it to the lemon juice. If you need a little more liquid, take a spoonful of the liquid from the saucepan and mix it with the lemon juice and cornstarch. Add the cornstarch to the saucepan and bring the blueberries to a boil.
4. Stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Take the saucepan off the stove and add the vanilla extract and the butter, stirring until the butter has melted.
5. Rinse and clean the 1 cup of reserved blueberries.
6. Add the blueberries from the saucepan to a bowl. Fold in the reserved blueberries until they are incorporated.
7. Add the completed blueberry filling to a glass jar and seal it with a lid. I put it in the refrigerator if I am making the shortbread the next day.
Baking the Shortbread
Prepare a 9 X 9 baking pan by buttering the inside of the pan. Then, using tin foil or parchment paper, line the bottom and sides so they stick out over two sides.
1. These make great handles for getting the shortbread out of the pan. I butter the pan, so the parchment paper sticks and the blueberry juice does not stick to the sides.
2. Add the flour, salt, lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon, and the cold butter cubed into the food processor bowl. Pulse 8 to 10 times or until all the ingredients are in small pieces.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Take half of the shortbread dough and add it on top of the parchment paper. Spread it around so you can start to cover the whole bottom.
4. Press down the shortbread dough so you have a solid bottom crust with no gaps.
5. Bake for 13-15 minutes. The goal is to do a light bake since you will be baking this again with the blueberry filling and topping. Cool the pan until you can touch the sides of the pan.
Putting Together Shortbread and Blueberry Filling
6. Take the jar of blueberry filling and spread it evenly over the partially baked shortbread.
7. The next step is to break up any big pieces of shortbread dough, so they are about all the same size. Spread them evenly over the top of the blueberry filling. I press them down gently to try and get a consistent height.
8. Bake at 350° for 34-36 minutes. The pieces on top should be a nice golden in color. I also put the pan on a cooling rack, so the bottom cools. You want this to set, so leave it be for a couple of hours or stick it in the refrigerator to hurry the setting process.
When you are ready to serve, I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top to make them even prettier. Pull the shortbread out of the pan by the parchment paper handles before cutting. I cut four rows down and four across, but you can make whatever size bars you like.
I store these in large Rubbermaid TakeAlong storage containers. These are fantastic for storing bars or cookies. Cut a piece of parchment paper and lay it between layers if needed. These bars will last for 5 to 7 days. I do not refrigerate them, but you can if you like cold bars.
Other Cookies To Try
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread BarsBarbara Hall
Home Made Blueberry Filling
- 4 cups (592 g) Fresh Blueberries
- ½ cup (100 g) Sugar white
- 2 Tablespoon (2 Tablespoon) Corn starch
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Vanilla Extract
- ½ Tablespoon (0.5 Tablespoon) Butter unsalted
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted cold and cubed
- ¾ cup (150 g) Sugar white
- 2 ½ cups (312.5 g) All-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Lemon zest packed
- ⅛ teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) Ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
Home Made Blueberry Filling
- Rinse and clean the blueberries and add 3 cups to a saucepan - reserve 1 cup of the blueberries for later. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a bowl and set it aside.
- Add the sugar to the saucepan with the blueberries and heat on a medium setting. Bring the sugar and blueberries to a low boil. You want the blueberries to break down and get mushy. I use a wooden spoon to stir and keep pressing the blueberries against the side of the saucepan to help the blueberries break apart. Continue to stir for about 8 minutes; it will start to thicken slightly.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of corn starch to the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix. If you need more liquid, take a spoonful of the blueberry mixture from the saucepan to finish mixing the corn starch, then add the corn starch mixture to the saucepan. If it is not already, you will need to have this come to a boil and continuously stir for at least 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the vanilla extract and the butter to the pan. Stir until the butter has melted. Move the blueberry filling to a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. Then add the 1 cup of reserved blueberries to the cooked blueberries and mix. After a few minutes, transfer to a glass container with a lid and refrigerate if making the shortbread the next day.
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Bars
- Add the flour, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt, and the cold butter cubed. I start with a few long pulses to get the butter broken up. Then about 8-10 short pulses to bring the ingredients together. You want it in small pieces. You can always break up any big pieces into smaller ones if needed.
- Butter a 9 X 9 pan. Take a long piece of parchment paper and place it along the bottom and the opposite sides. Make sure it is long enough to fold over the tops of both sides of the pan. You can use these as handles to lift the completed bars out of the pan. (see image above) Take half of the shortbread dough and place it on top of the parchment paper lining the bottom. Spread the pieces around the bottom and press down to spread and cover the bottom.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake for 13-15 minutes. You want a light-colored bake. It will be a little soft, but that is perfect; it will be baked again. Let it cool for 10 minutes or until you can handle the pan with your hands.
- Spread the blueberry filling evenly onto the partially baked bottom crust. Now, dot the remaining shortbread dough pieces around the top of the blueberry filling. I press the pieces down a little just so that all the pieces are touching the blueberry filling. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. I start to check at 35 minutes. The top should be a nice golden color.
- Cool completely in the pan for at least 2 hours. You can hurry the cooling by placing the pan in the refrigerator until chilled. Pull the shortbread out of the pan by the parchment paper handles before cutting. I cut four rows down and four across, but you can make these any size you like. To make them even prettier, I sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving.
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