blackberry pie bars

blackberry pie bars 3

We planned a picnic with my sister and her family recently, and two things were certain: I wanted to make these pie bars, and my sister wanted to make potato salad. So we had the important things figured out. I ended up making pizza wraps (the first time I’d ever made wraps!), and she brought deviled eggs. We both threw some cherries into our picnic baskets, because that’s what you do in the summer.

blackberry pie bars 1

It was a nice hike in the mountains, and a nice lunch, but mostly I just wanted to get to dessert. And that wasn’t the only waiting I had to do, as these took about three times longer to bake than I was expecting. I was mystified at the time, but eventually I figured out the culprit – the blackberries that I most definitely had not gotten around to defrosting before baking.

blackberry pie bars 2

They were certainly worth waiting through the hike (which I enjoyed anyway) and the lunch (same) and the extra oven time (not so much), because they were a perfect casual summer dessert. They had the perfect balance of fruit and buttery dough.  They were the perfect cap to a great picnic in the woods.

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Printer Friendly Recipe
Blackberry Pie Bars (adapted from Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen via Pink Parsley)

Crust and topping:
3 cups (14.4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1½ cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

Fruit filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup (3.6 ounces) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, thawed and drained

1. Adjust the rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. To make the crust and topping, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly, 30-60 seconds.

3. Reserve 1½ cups of the mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake 12-15 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes.

4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon zest, and almond extract. Gently fold in the berries and spoon the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling, and bake 45 to 55 minutes, until the dough is set and lightly browned on top.

5. Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars, or scoop out of the pan to serve cobbler-style.

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  1. lindsay says:

    hi- i ran across your blog, and have been hooked ever since! you are amazing, and these bars look good enough to inhale. thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and beyond awesome foodie finds:))

  2. I found your blog through Tracey’s Culinary Adventures post about Blue Velvet Cupcakes and I love it! These blackberry bars look like the perfect addition to a summer picnic!

  3. These look fabulous! I might make them with peaches!

  4. 9×13 or 8×8? Am thinking of making these today, and just wanted to check 🙂 – that looked like an 8 in your pic…

  5. definitely 9×13! they look great, will report back once they’ve cooled an can be tasted…

  6. Sorry to be confusing! I made a half recipe in an 8×8-inch pan.

  7. They were good – but I had to pull them out of the oven and run – and with fresh berries, 1:05 left everything that wasn’t within an inch of the edge too gooey. Tasted good. Trying again tonight, but mixed 1/3 of the berries in the filling (as opposed to folding them all in) to try and get the blackberry flavor in more of the filling, and not just when you bite into a berry.

    I’ve got a half batch going right now – we’ll see how they turn out!