Black Raspberries

As a kid in northern Minnesota, picking raspberries was always a favorite time of year. Now as an adult, picking wild black raspberries in our little corner of the world with my children is a joy.  It has revived a tradition that my life lead me away from for too many years.  It brings back memories of my grandmother’s smiling surprise when I arrive back at the house with a big plastic cup full. “You almost have enough for jam!”, I can hear her say.

Just as when I was a child, the first berries never make it into the bucket. They are a little taste of summer, fresh off the bramble! This year’s harvest made some delicious bars that were perfect with morning coffee. I’m already looking forward to making these again this summer!  It’s a three part recipe, that comes together in the most delightful combination of simple flavors and textures.

Black Raspberry Bars

Berry FillingImage of coffee with black raspberry bars.

2 1/2 cups fresh picked black raspberries – Why 2 1/2 cups? Well, because that’s how many made it past the family and into the kitchen.

3/4 cup sugar

2 table spoons corn starch

1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir together all the ingredients over medium heat.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring frequently.  Set aside to cool.

Bottom Crust

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup all purpose flour

1 table spoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350º F.  Blend ingredients together and press into an ungreased 9×9 pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Crumble on Top

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cold salted butter cut up into cubes.

I use a fork to combine the crumble ingredients but you could pulse them in a food processor.

Evenly spread the filling over the warm crust and evenly sprinkle the crumble over the top.  Bake at 350º F for 45 minutes or until the crumble is just beginning to brown.  Now, I know it’s hard to wait but let ’em cool down.  This is not a hot out of the oven treat.  That berry filling is piping hot!  Yes, I speak from experience. The bars will set as they cool making them easy to cut, serve and enjoy!

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