While I totally get that we should be moving toward Fall flavors, it’s still ridiculously hot and sunny here and I just can’t quit summer…yet. Next week I’m going to make a real, tried and true effort of transitioning into Fall. I’m even going to force myself to bring out the pumpkins. But today, I’m delighting in these Blackberry Pie Bars and spending a few last moments with my coastal looking front porch decor.
Blackberries are about the one thing I can remember my mother baking routinely. We had several bushes that would produce blackberries along the fence line and during their peak season she would hurry out and pick them fresh, then hurry back and bake a pie. Or two. Or ten.
I don’t really like blackberries to be honest. It’s the same issue I have with strawberries. I love the taste, but I do not care for the seedy texture. If you’re a blackberry lover, you’ll want to increase the quantity I’ve used in this recipe, but if you’re like me and just like a faint blackberry taste and a pie bar not overpowered by the fruit…you’re in for a treat!
I remember reading a study about how blackberries contain the most cancer fighting antioxidants of all the berries, but did you know that the berries can be used to color your hair? An English herbalist recommended boiling the blackberry leaves in a lye solution in order to make your hair black. I cannot confirm nor deny this allegation but find it quite interesting!
The Blackberry Pie Bars are quite easy to make and I first made them a few weeks ago when my publishers were in town to sign my book contract. I prepared these little pie bars, swirling a bit of whipped cream to each and garnishing with a tiny sprig of mint….to which they said “oh, are you getting ready for a photo shoot?” and I replied “oh no, those are for you!”. Moral of the story? These pie bars look elegant enough to impress your guests!
Hosting a baby shower? These would be a delicious addition to your festivities. Got someone special coming over for brunch? Make these. Mother’s Day tea party planning? You guessed, these are a pretty little winner.
- 1½ cup sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold & cubed
- 1 egg
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1½ cups fresh blackberries (can use frozen)
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking pan with non-sticking cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the cubed butter and egg into the dry ingredients until it's crumbly. In another bowl, combine the lemon juice, cornstarch and remaining sugar. Gently toss with blackberries. Pat half of the dough mixture into the pan. Top with blackberries, then crumble over the rest of the dough. Bake until the top is golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes. Let them cool completely, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Cut into small bars and garnish with homemade whipped cream and mint (optional).
These bars are best served chilled and incredibly delicious with coffee or tea.
I have one more best suited for summertime pie and then I’ll be shifting the pies to Fall. Pinky promise.