We are so excited to present the second video we made for Darling Magazine! We had so much fun making the video. And the bars themselves are completely delicious! The crust tastes suspiciously like a graham cracker crust, but I love that it is homemade and avoids the use of processed, store bought cookies. The filling is creamy and light and the blueberries on top get perfectly oozy and juicy. They are simply wonderful.
But let me tell you, the first recipe I developed for the Blueberry Ricotta Bars...not so good. In fact, they were horrible. It is very rare that I bake something that I actually want to throw in the trash can. We don't like wasting food. We NEVER waste food. The first bars were wasted. Why, you ask? They were just wrong. The texture was wrong, the flavor was funky, the crust was too hard, the whole thing was over baked. I couldn't figure it out. How could I have strayed so colossally?
"Everyone has off days." Corey said as he closed the lid on the trashcan full of failure. Yes. Everyone has off days. And I have come to find that the times that I make something that just isn't quite right, it is almost always a direct result of overthinking and self doubt. This was definitely the case of the doomed blueberry bars. Baking is a thing that brings me great joy. And I have to remember to allow it to be a joyful process. Its easy to over think it or to question each step. But I have to let go and trust myself and have fun with it. Because thats when I make the best things. So have fun! Do things how you want. Add more blueberries. Add lemon zest. Add more salt. Add less salt. More cheese. Less cheese. This is a pretty forgiving recipe. As long as you blend the ricotta until it loses its grainy texture and don't leave it in the oven too long, it will be great. Trust yourself!
1 Cup Organic Unbleached Flour
1 Cup Almond Flour (or very finely ground almonds)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
One 15 oz. Container of Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
1 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
About a Pint of Blueberries
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350
Combine the unbleached floor, almond meal, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Melt the butter and pour it over the dry ingredients. Mix everything together until they are evenly combined. The mixture will be crumbly. Press it very firmly into a baking dish (mine was 8x10” but you can use larger or smaller depending on the desired bar thickness. Baking time will be effected.) until it is packed tightly on the bottom. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, mix the ricotta for about one minute until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix again until the mixture is free of lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Finally, add the sugar, vanilla and salt. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Pour it onto the pre baked crust in the baking dish.
For the Topping:
Mix the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Gently distribute the berries evenly across the top of the ricotta filling. Place the bars in the oven and bake for about forty-five minutes to an hour. The bars should still jiggle slightly when you shift the pan and the edges will just be browning. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and cool completely before slicing.