My daughter takes after me when it comes to a love of berries. I spotted blackberries at the store and knew that she’d love them. I also knew that it would give me an opportunity to make these bars again. I made them once, but as I often do, forgot to take a picture. So here they are in all of their citrus/berry glory. They feature a shortbread-like crust and topping with a moist, refreshing filling. I actually didn’t follow the recipe exactly this time. I didn’t have a lemon on hand, so I used orange zest and juice. I wound up really liking the combination, but the lemon is wonderful as well. I will say, they are a bit sweet for my taste. I have mentioned before on here that I prefer my sweets on the not too sweet side! For my personal taste, I cut down the sugar in the filling by at least 1/4 cup. I like the tartness of the berries and citrus to shine through. Also, I understand orange juice is much sweeter than lemon. However, I’m making this recommended adjustment based on when I made the recipe with lemon zest and juice.
I am waiting for my baked goods to look as impressive as the ones I see on the blogs I nab the recipes from. I used the same quantity of berries as the recipe calls for and I’m pretty sure I used the right size pan, but somehow mine seem to not be as berry-ful and thick. Oh well. Still tasted good!
Original Recipe From: The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather, as seen on Annie’s Eats (http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/04/05/blackberry-pie-bars/)
For the crust and topping:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of half a lemon (I used orange zest, but have used lemon before.)
- 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 (I used orange this time, but lemon the last. I’m already thinking of a raspberry/lime combo next!)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 15-16 oz. blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained of excess juices)
1. 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.
2. Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture for topping 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 golden. Let cool 10-15 minutes before proceeding.
3. 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.
4. 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.