Blackberry Pie Bars
It seems crazy to think that with over three years worth of recipes here on Brown Eyed Baker, that this the first-ever recipe for something involving blackberries. I’m seriously astonished. You’d think that I had cast them off into the land of unfit berries. Do you remember the Land of Unfit Toys from the classic Rudolph movie? Always disturbed me – they cast off “broken” toys to some iceberg island? What kind of message does that send to kids? Anyway, off of my tangent and back to blackberries… As far as berries go they are probably my 3rd favorite behind blueberries and strawberries. But still, a 3rd favorite out of all summer fruit isn’t a bad position to be in, and they certainly deserve more space here than I have given them. These Blackberry Pie Bars are a fabulous place to start.
This is a fabulous dessert that consists of a shortbread crust, a creamy blackberry pie filling and topped with crumbles of the same wonderful shortbread crust. The result is an almost custard-like pie filling bursting with blackerry flavor, all encompassed by a buttery shortbread crust and topping. Although I didn’t have any in the house at the time, this could only be made better with a supersized scoop of vanilla ice cream sitting on top of it. It makes for the perfect summertime dessert.
A few notes on this recipe:
♦ I like to make shortbread and pie-style crusts in the food processor, but if you don’t have one you could easily use a pastry blender, two knives or forks, or your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour/sugar mixture. Just remember to work it as little as possible and if the butter has warmed up by the time you’re done, just pop the bowl into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to give it another chill.
♦ The 6 cups of blackberries called for in the recipe comes out to a little less than 2 lbs of fresh blackberries. If you find it easier or more economical to use frozen fruit, substitute two 16-ounce packages of frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained.
♦ It’s important to give this the full hour to cool before slicing it; in that time the dessert finishes baking and sets up so that when you slice it the filling doesn’t ooze out all over the place and it stays together.
♦ Blackberries don’t quite do it for you? Are you more of a raspberry or blueberry fan? Substitute your favorite berry in place of the blackberries!
Blackberry Pie Bars
For the Crust and Topping:
Zest of 2 lemons
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
For the Blackberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
6 cups fresh blackberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until all of the sugar has been moistened. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lemon sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of peas, about 10 to 12 pulses.
3. Measure out 1½ cups of the crumb mixture to use for the topping and put it in the refrigerator until needed. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust and make sure all of the blackberries are in one layer and not sitting on top of one another.
5. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.