Inspired by our love of lemon squares, we developed this healthy blueberry squares recipe using juice from fresh blueberries in the filling. We slashed the butter in the shortbread crust for these blueberry bars, but kept the crust light and crisp with heart-healthy canola oil and a little cornstarch. A judicious amount of sugar in the filling lets the natural sweetness of the fruit shine and keeps calories in check.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2013


Recipe Summary

2 hrs 15 mins




Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil and generously coat it with cooking spray.

  • To prepare crust: Combine flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and butter; using your fingertips, blend into the flour mixture until evenly combined. The mixture will be a little crumbly. Firmly press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake until just barely beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • To prepare filling: Meanwhile, combine blueberries and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the fruit is very soft and mostly broken down, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid. Pour the strained juice into a glass measuring cup. You need 1 cup strained juice; remove any extra or add a little water if you are short. Stir in lemon (or lime) juice.

  • Whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Whisk in eggs. Stir in the juice mixture. Pour the filling over the crust.

  • Bake until just set, 15 to 20 minutes. (The center should still be a little jiggly--it will firm up as it cools.)

  • Let cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently lift out of the pan all in one piece using the edges of the foil. Cut into 9 squares. Garnish with fresh blueberries and dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, just before serving.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Facts

213 calories; protein 3.5g; carbohydrates 32.2g; dietary fiber 2.3g; sugars 15.6g; fat 8.4g; saturated fat 2.3g; cholesterol 48.1mg; vitamin a iu 159IU; vitamin c 4.9mg; folate 8.2mcg; calcium 9.9mg; iron 2.1mg; magnesium 4.1mg; potassium 66.4mg; sodium 114.3mg; added sugar 12g.

Reviews (1)

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2 Ratings
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Rating: 1 stars
Not worth the effort or the time Why not use the whole fruit instead of juicing the berries? It would probably a better dessert to use the whole fruit and make the crust ingredients into a crumble on top. I understand Lemon Squares as you usually only use the juice of the fruit but what a waste of beautiful berries. And lining the baking pan with foil only made it more difficult to remove. Cons: Does not use the whole fruit Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Lots of flaws - a waste of fruit These looked so good I made them the day I read this issue. Unfortunately they are pretty awful. I'm so annoyed I wasted organic butter and my home grown blueberries on these chalky tasteless bars. First the amount of fat in the crust is completely insufficient for the crumb to adhere. I had to add another Tbsp butter and some liquid to get moist enough crumbs to press into the crust. If I hadn't I'm pretty sure I would have ended up with a dry crumbly mess that wouldn't begin to hold together in the finished product. Even with using all butter (I am not saturated fat phobic so I used all butter instead of the oil and butter combo) the crust is dry and tasteless - if you are after a shortbread crust you have to use way more butter. I'm all for eliminating unnecessary fat and sugar in things but not at the expense of having the dish turn out not worth the effort (or calories). The blueberry topping is also flawed. It didn't occur to me until after baking the bars for only 15 mins that hey! 3 Tbsp cornstarch to 1 cup of juice is mega overkill especially since the eggs alone would probably do the job of thickening the topping. There is a ton of uncooked cornstarch left in the topping that gives it a chalky texture (think the feeling you get when you eat an antacid). I'm glad I didn't make these for company - I would have been very embarrassed to serve these chalky messes. Even my hubby who likes anything with sugar in it g Read More