Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

I bet you’ve never had blackberries.  How is this possible?  Those clamshells at the grocery store full of hopefully dark, plump, non-moldy berries can look okay, but upon tasting them, they are flavorless and consist of more seeds than actual juicy fruit.  They’re more like cousins to blackberries.  Cousins that have been grown to be able to survive the trek from typically California to wherever you buy them, rather than grown for their flavor.

Blackberries

Enter farm fresh blackberries.  These are nothing, absolutely nothing, like their grocery store counterparts.  And if you think you don’t like blackberries, do yourself a favor and seek some of these out.  They vary in size from huge to quite tiny, but all of them are sweeter, have the best blackberry flavor you can imagine, and have fewer and less noticeable seeds.  The thing is they can be exceptionally hard to find.  I haven’t seen them at any local farmers’ markets since I’ve been shopping at them for the past few years.  They usually are in the stores for a couple weeks each July, but I never saw them this year, though I am still holding out hope for a few late season berries.  So my wonderful Dad headed to the nearest blackberry farm, about half an hour away from our house, to pick them.

It is not an easy task, I am told.  As a girl who keeps her outdoor time to a minimum, this is something I would never do, but Dad likes to be outside and doesn’t mind doing these crazy things for his “little girl,” so off he went to pick berries.  The weather was hot, though not as hot as it has been lately, and the process involves lots of walking, reaching, and being attacked by the blackberry bushes.  Yet he says it’s not that bad and he kind of likes it, which is great because I love the end result.

Unbaked Crust

They weren’t as big as I’ve seen, but they were among the best flavor wise.  So delicate, juicy, and full of flavor, they can be crushed with the softest touch, the first sign that they are nothing like what is found in the store.  The next is the burst of juice and flavor with each bite.  The final, that the seeds are almost nonexistent.

I wanted to make something fabulous with them, so I headed over to Brown Eyed Baker’s blog for a recipe; I consider her the celebrity of the baking blogger world.  I spend my days hoping she’ll notice me or even leave a comment on my blog as I hope I’ll one day run into someone like Matt Damon in town filming a movie or get a Twitter response from Alton Brown or Bobby Flay.  I found Blackberry Pie Bars, a treat that looked amazing and unlike anything I’d ever made before.  They took a little longer to assemble than I thought they would, but they did not disappoint.  Not by a long shot.

Unbaked Filling

Unbaked Bars

A wonderful tender and crumbly shortbread crust with a rich creamy custard like filling surrounded the bounty of blackberries, topped off with a little crunch from some of the reserved shortbread.  Each bite is pure joy and a different experience.  It was the perfect thing to make with the blackberries.  Even Dad, a blackberry hater, ate a whole piece, proving just how delectable these bars are.

If you’re a blackberry lover, and even if you think you’re not, seek out some great farm fresh berries to have your mind blown.  Then make these bars, and you’ll want to eat blackberries every day.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

5.0 from 3 reviews

Blackberry Pie Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Ingredients
  • Shortbread
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • Filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (I’ve been using Daisy and loving it)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
  2. Make the crust. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and orange and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until it is distributed throughout and fragrant.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine the sugar and zest mixture, flour, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed and no bigger than the size of peas, about 15 times. The food processor bowl will be extremely full, so take caution. If you have a small processor and it does not fit, use a pastry cutter or forks to make the dough in a large bowl. After pulsing there may still be a few larger pieces of butter. Mix them in with your fingers. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the shortbread for the topping. Place it in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used. Press the remainder of the crust in the bottom of the pan. It will form a thick layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Cool while preparing the filling.
  4. Make the filling. Combine the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir until there is a homogeneous mixture. Very gently fold in the blackberries to prevent breaking as much as possible, though some is inevitable. Pour the mixture over the crust. Even out as much as possible. Distribute reserved shortbread evenly over filling.
  5. Bake 50-60 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the edges are golden brown. It will still be very jiggly. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars. May be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

 

 

Comments

  1. MissMessy says:

    oooo i can’t wait until i can pick blackberries from the hedge rows around here because these look fabulous!!

    • Laura says:

      You’re so lucky that you have blackberries to pick! I love blackberries so much, and these bars only made me love them more.

  2. I adore local blackberries, and they are my husband’s favorite fruit. These pie bars would disappear fast in my house!

    • Laura says:

      Blackberries are one of my favorite fruits too. These are easily the best blackberry recipe I’ve ever made and one of the best desserts. You should give them a try; I bet you’d like them.

  3. So many berry recipes!! My cousins used to have blackberries in their backyard, brings back fun memories :)

    • Laura says:

      I love when cooking or baking brings back memories. I didn’t used to cook as much as I do now, so I’m making memories that I hope I remember for the rest of my life.

  4. Your bars look amazing! I’m so glad you liked them!
    P.S. They are spectacular straight from the fridge for breakfast :)

    • Laura says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle! And thanks for visiting. These are seriously one of the best things I’ve made. I did have one from the fridge and it was fabulous. Of course, I don’t think there’s any way they wouldn’t be good :)

  5. Mary Mullally and Family - The Neighbors! says:

    Thank you for sharing some of these delicious bars! You are so thoughful – and your Dad is our hero! We absolutely loved them and hated to see them disappear so fast! The blackberries are much better than any we’ve ever had before, and the crust was the perfect sweetness. We will have great memories of this “labor of love”!

    • Laura says:

      Mary, I’m so glad you liked them! Dad is my hero for picking the berries too :) I have a little stash of these in the freezer saved for another day, but I don’t know how long it will stay there!

  6. Debbie Eccard says:

    Wow! This is probably my favorite dessert from your blog even though I haven’t made it yet. I love this kind of fruit dessert. I will look to find some fresh ones and try it if I find them. Thanks.

    Aunt Debbie

    • Laura says:

      Debbie, this is definitely among my favorites too. It’s unlike any other dessert I’ve made, and it is just great! Let me know if you make them.

  7. Rick says:

    I am not a huge blackberry fan, but this looks wonderful.

    • Laura says:

      This is an excellent dessert with many layers of flavors. PS You had one of these and enjoyed it, blackberries and all.

  8. SimplyBakes says:

    WOW! hi laura this is my first time to your blog and i am loving it! These look amazing! The perfect dessert for an aftermeal!:D Great job!

Trackbacks

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