I’m not sure why, but blackberries seemed to have hit their stride a little late in the season this year (at least up here). No complaining or anything, of course. So this past week or so I’ve been working with them, starting these luscious, amazing, cookie bars. Well, technically I started with a French toast smothered in blackberry butter, but my pictures really aren’t up to snuff, so that won’t be making an appearance here. :/
Never fear though, we have these little beauties. I took these to a family reunion of sorts on Sunday; every early September, Matt’s dad’s side of the family gathers at the Jersey shore, and we went down to visit for the day, blackberry pie bars in tow.
They were quite the hit, to say the least. I had taste-tested one – okay fine, two – before we left, and I figured they would be well received. No one I know ever turned down a short bread crust. And the blackberries were the perfect texture and sweetness. Even the little kids and picky eaters were raving. I think you should make these bars soon and not miss out on the perfection. And of course, you can use whatever fruit you desire. Enjoy!
A few recipe notes: it sounds like a lot of fruit, but it’s not too much, I promise. My blackberries were huge, and when I spread them on the short bread crust, I felt a pang of panic that perhaps I should have halved them. But no, it worked perfectly as it was. And speaking of short bread crusts, it will be a tad crumbly and that’s fine. There’s no need to work every last crumb into the dough. And last note – I found it easier to first cut large squares in the pan, remove those large squares and then cut them down smaller.
Source: slightly adapted from Wit and Vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks, cubed up)
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
18 oz package blackberries, roughly 3 cups
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9×13″ pan very well, making sure to get the sides too.
In a very large bowl whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, and lemon zest.
Using a pastry cutter or 2 butter knives, incorporate the cold cubed butter into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly. Add the beaten egg and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Knead gently a few times with your hands to make it lightly come together, but don’t get too crazy – some crumbliness is okay.
In another bowl combine lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar. Gently toss with blackberries.
Pat about 60% of the dough mixture into the pan. Top with blackberries, then crumble over the rest of the dough. Bake for 35-40 min until top is golden brown.
Let them cool completely, then refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight. Cut into large squares to remove, then cut the squares into halves or quarters if desired. They taste best chilled.