Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar

Another Farmers Market find was blackberries. They are not my favorite, but I knew T liked them so I grabbed them up...didn't hurt that they were huge and gorgeous! You can see my smallest rug rat above scoping them out, with good reason, they were delicious! I had a bit of a hard time getting my bottom crust to set right and get crunchy, but it still tasted great.

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar, Joy the Baker

Crust and Topping

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ 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
¾ 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

1. Preheat the oven to 350° 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.

2. 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.

3. 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

1. 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.

2. 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.

Tip: 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!

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