Saturday, August 8, 2009

Blackberry Pies Squares

Blackberry pie squares

Summer in California is synonymous with fresh produce. Back yard gardens are a real treasure. If you don't grow it yourself, someone you know will. We don't have a blackberry patch, but we have a friend who does, so we were blessed with some fresh blackberries.
Just when the blackberries arrived I saw this recipe on Ingrid's blog, 3 B's .... Baseall, Baking & Books, so I decide to give it a try.
It was super simple to make and you could use almost any fruit (fresh or frozen) in place of the black berries. Don't skip the lemon sugar, that is what makes this pie a standout.

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar

Crust and Topping
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 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
2/3 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-

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 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.
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.
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-

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.
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.