Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Whoa, Blackberry! (bam-ba-lam)

Okay, okay. I know those aren't the correct lyrics but it's just fun to sing regardless and it makes me smile. These days I'm trying to focus on anything and everything that makes me smile and keeps me feeling positive and upbeat. This recipe for Blackberry Pie Bars do just that!

They are the right balance of sweetness, tartness, and crunch from the crust. They are really easy to make, which they'd have to be for me to be able to successfully make them as we all know I'm not the best at baking. But I have to say the more I keep trying, the better my results have been! I actually made these for the first time last spring and summer and knew they would be a perfect addition to this year's Easter feast. Seriously, you will not be disappointed! 

Blackberry Pie Bars
Makes about 16-20 bars

For the crust and topping:
½ cups all-purpose flour¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Zest of half a lemon
¾ cup (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cold
For the filling: 
2 large eggs
1 cups sugar
½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
15-16 oz. blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained of excess juices)


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with foil and grease lightly.  In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.  Pulse briefly to blend.  Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Process in short pulses to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until only small pieces of butter remain and the mixture is crumbly.

Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture for topping of the bars. Add the rest of the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form an even layer of crust on the bottom of the pan. Bake 12-15 minutes, until  light and press to form an even layer of crust on the bottom of the pan. Bake 12-15 minutes, until light golden. Let cool 10-15 minutes before proceeding.

In a medium bowl, make the filling mixture. Combine the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Gently stir in the blackberries with a spatula. Spread the filling mixture over the pre-baked crust in the baking pan. Crumble the reserved topping mixture, over the filling evenly.

Bake until the top is beginning to brown and the bars are just set, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill to firm up before slicing and serving.


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