The first week of July I spent a few days on the island of Vieques just off the coast of Puerto Rico. The rustic lodge was in the rain forest with the sound of frogs peeping lulled me to sleep and the chirping of birds wakened me. There I feasted on tropical fruits. Every morning the day started with mangoes and starfruit picked from trees just outside our door.

The fruit season here at the orchard starts slowly in June with the queen of fruit, strawberries. Before we get our fill of those, suddenly the raspberries and cherries and blueberries and peaches are ripening. I have blueberries on my cereal, snack on cherries mid-morning, eat a peach for lunch and make raspberries smoothies in the evening. Summer wealth.

Walking through the orchard I see the pears and apples, still small and green but I know that by the end of August they will start to ripen as the summer fruits finish for the year.

There was a time when I would have been baking daily making pies and crisps and rich fruit desserts but I don’t do that much anymore. Lemon squares were always a family favorite. I discovered they are even better with blueberries added. They freeze well so it is worth making some to keep on hand for an occasional treat. I cut them into squares, freeze them on a tray without them touching each other. Once frozen I can put them together in a container.

Lemon Blueberry Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into small pieces

4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Mix the flour and the powdered sugar together. Process with the butter in a food processor or cut the chunks of butter into the flour and sugar with a fork or fingers until the dough holds together when pressed.
2. Press the mixture firmly over the bottom of a greased or parchment paper lined 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the crust is golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
3. While the crust is baking mix sugar, flour and baking powder together. Whisk the eggs with the sugar mixture. 
4. Whisk in the lemon juice and lemon peel, then stir in the blueberries.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the browned crust. Return to the oven and bake until the filling is just firm and does not move when the pan is gently nudged, about 25 minutes. 
6. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. 

Cool completely before cutting into bars.