Wednesday, February 5, 2014

At Home: Blackberry Pie Bars

For dessert I decided to focus on blackberries, which grow wild all over Seattle.  Blackberries were enjoyed by the ancient Greeks, who believed them to be a cure for diseases of the mouth and throat, as well as a preventative against many ailments, including gout.  High in anti-oxidents and low in calories, blackberries are one of my favorite fruits.  To show off their gorgeous deep purple color, I made Blackberry Pie Bars.  Check out the other Super Bowl Snacks that we made and find the recipe on What Micky Eats...At Home.

Blackberry Pie Bars (Makes 16 bars. Adapted from Annie's Eats)
For the crust:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of half a lemon
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into little cubes
For the filling:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (berry or plain)
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teasp vanilla extract
  • 15-16 oz. blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained of excess juices)

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with wax paper or foil.
- Make the Crust: In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse briefly to blend.
- Add the cubes of butter to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Process in short pulses to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until only small pieces of butter remain and the mixture is crumbly.
- Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture for topping the bars.
- Add the rest of the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form an even layer of crust on the bottom of the pan.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, until light golden. Let cool 10-15 minutes before proceeding.
Make the Filling: In a medium bowl combine the eggs, sugar, yogurt, flour, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
- Gently stir in the blackberries with a spatula.
- Spread the filling mixture over the pre-baked crust in the baking pan.
- Crumble the reserved topping mixture over the filling evenly.
- Bake until the top is beginning to brown and the bars are just set, about 45 minutes.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill to firm up before slicing and serving.

I used an old blueberry Greek yogurt cup we had hanging around.  I thought the light purple color would match the blackberries for this dessert.  However, plain yogurt or even sour cream would work just fine.  Also, I must mention this new lemon juicer I got for Christmas. It is super cute and very functional, and small enough to not clutter up your kitchen drawers.  Overall, the blackberries popped in these pie bars, which satisfied my goal to highlight the pretty berries.   The yogurt help cut the tartness a bit.  We had plenty leftover to take for breakfast the next morning.

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