Joy the Baker

Blackberry Pie Bars

June 18, 2009

Blackberry Pie Bars

I’ve been struggling for the past few hours with what to tell you in conjunction with these Blackberry Pie Bars.

I thought maybe we could talk about how I’m still totally dragging my feet about going to my ten year high school reunion.  No… that’s been done.  Boring.

Maybe we could talk about how I sat around a campfire with Andrea Zuckerman… a character from that show Beverly Hills 90210, but that was actually just a dream I had last night.  Not real.

We could chat about the weather?  Seen any good movies lately?

No?  Ok… let’s not fight this.

Let’s get on to the bars.  They’re good.  Really good.  Good enough to not need a silly introduction.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

Think of these bars as your escape from the land of pie baking.  Maybe you don’t need an escape, but let’s be honest… putting together a pie crust can be a pain in the rear sometimes.  Problem solved.  Just press this crust into the bottom of a pan, top it with creamy fruit filling, sprinkle it with more crust bits and you’re in business.

The result is pure summer blackberry goodness.  The recipe includes directions for either frozen or fresh fruit.  If you’re using frozen berries, just be sure to defrost the berries and drain the excess juices.  What about raspberries or blueberries instead of blackberries?  Those would probably work too!  Just stay away from strawberries.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar

adapted from The Pastry Queen

Print this Recipe!

Crust and Topping

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes

zest of two lemons

Blackberry Filling

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

2  (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained

(You can also use 6 cups of fresh blackberries, or 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blackberries and 3 cups of fresh blackberries)

To make the crust and topping-

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.  Zest two lemons.  Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface.  Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with a bench scraper or the back of a spoon.  Rubbing the zest into the sugar will release oils from the zest and create a lemon scented sugar.

Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment.  Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling-

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt.  Gently fold in the blackberries.  Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust.  You may have to distribute the blackberries evenly around.

Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned.  Cool for 1 hour before slicing.

**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid.  Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight.  They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!

Blackberry Pie Bars


154 Comments Add A Comment

  • These look fabulous! I love that you can make so many at a time in a big baking tray. Great pictures, nice commentary… compliments to your site!

  • I’m so lazy lately, all i do is make ice cream … and not a custard base one! So this recipe resonates deeply with me, no pie crust mess you say?, sold! :) Thank you, i’ll report back when i get my hands on some berries, i’ve thrown everything i had either in ice creams or in rum pot (good stuff, typical for our part of the world). Speaking of ice cream, the door bell just rang, ice cream customers (mom and sister :)), gotta go! :D

  • Oooh these are definitely on my to do list now. But I’m not scared of pie crust. Pie crust is scared of me.
    You know, after all those times I’ve messed it up so bad.

  • Those bars look delicious. On a side note, I missed my ten-year high school reunion (because I was very sick), and totally regretted it. Even now, nearly five years after the fact, I have recurring dreams about what the reunion would have been like if I had been there….

  • My favorite farmer just told me her blueberries would be a bumper crop this year, and are just starting to come in. I’m all over this recipe!

  • Ummm, good morning to me! These look so good!! I’m not intimidated by pie crusts anymore but bars do scare me (so strange!). Yum.

  • Mmmmm… I think I’ll make this tonight!

  • Oh Joy, these look fabulous! I have a blackberry bush that is about to EXPLODE with ripe blackberries, and this recipe just made it to the top of the list! I just hope they are ready in time for a BBQ next weekend, these bars would be fantastic at a picnic!

  • Oh Joy, how I love you! I’m 5 months pregnant and, with all the fresh fruit and wonderful summer warmth, I’ve been craving fresh fruit pies so much! I’m so intimidated by pie crust making that I either by the pies from the store (blah!) or go without. This looks so delicious!

  • Diet is so OVER!!! Another winning recipe for so-so bakers like me. Thanks for making things look so good and so easy to make!

  • Gorgeous Joy! I bet I’d have no problem eating more than my share!!

  • what a great idea – i love the pastry queen. would totally do this with raspberries. lemon sugar = v interesting!

  • Good morning Joy,
    You do have your own genuine way to make me (I bet other readers too)feel joy. I do need it right now.
    These look lovely.
    Why not strawberries? Although I know I’m not crazy about baked strawberries… so maybe no need to ask really…

  • These look incredible. I love lemon zest with blackberries, and the sour cream in the filling sounds great. Now, I have to go find something sweet to eat.

  • I met Andrea Zuckerman at a mall once. It was a real highlight of junior high school for me.

    Those look fantastic. I got the BEST blackberries at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market last week (Burkhart’s Organic), and if I can find them again I’m co-opting your recipe.

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