Memorial weekend signals the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to celebrate the sunshine than picnics, BBQ’s, and lots of ripe berries?
Can’t decide if you crave pies vs. dessert bars? No problem. We can go hybrid and do it BOGO style. Two in one. Bargain hunters, this one’s for you.
It’s a win-win combination. Think of it: a buttery and toothsome crust, plus crumbly topping with hints of zesty lemon strewn throughout. Creamy, thick filling bursting with sweet, juicy berries.
These fresh berry pie bars are the best of both worlds, with tasty pie crust, crumble topping, and plummy filling. Minus the fuss of actually making a pie. This “pie” comes in the form of an easygoing, happy-go-lucky pie bar that’s easily made ahead of time and even easier to dig into.
These berry pie bars can happily be made the night before, chilled in fridge, and sliced when ready to devour. I sliced mine into smaller squares to feed a crowd, and there was plenty to go around. For easy serving plus cute factor, just house the individual squares in pretty cupcake liners. These are best served chilled, so keep ’em cold until dessert time. They won’t sit around long once you bring them out.
Enjoy, and happy Memorial weekend!
VERRY BERRY PIE BARS (makes one 9×13)
For the crust and topping:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
Zest of one large lemon
1 1/2 cups salted butter, cold
For the filling:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
Juice of one large lemon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
30 oz any mixture of fresh blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease a 9×13 pan along bottom and sides. Set aside.
In bowl of a food processor, lightly pulse together the flour, sugar, and lemon zest just until blended. Cut cold butter into slices and add to bowl. With a few short pulses, cut the butter into flour mixture just until mixture is crumbly. Small bits of butter remaining is fine. (Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter if you don’t have a food processor.)
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the flour/butter mixture for the topping. Pour the rest of the mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan. Press firmly for an even layer of crust on bottom of pan. (It’s easy to press evenly with the flat bottom of a water glass or ramekin.) Bake crust about 15 minutes or until golden. Remove baked crust from oven, but keep oven on.
Combine eggs, sugar, Greek yogurt, flour, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Carefully fold in the berries with rubber spatula. Gently spread filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle reserved topping over the filling, to make an even layer of crumble topping.
Bake about 75 min to 90 min or until topping turns golden and bars are set. Cool completely at room temp before putting in fridge to chill. Chill several hours or overnight. Cut and serve cold.
Source: Chew Out Loud, adapted from Annie’s Eats, via the Pastry Queen