Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blueberry Pie Bars

Want to avoid rolling out pie crust? Make a pie bar. A what?! Pie bar. It’s a buttery, shortbread crust with fresh toppings on top – in this case, blueberries. Seriously. They’re good. Really good. And they’re impressive. So good, I don’t think they even need an introduction.

Blueberry Pie Bars

Crust and Topping:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Zest of two lemons

Blueberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blueberries, defrosted and drained

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 ½ 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 blueberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may have to distribute the blueberries 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.

**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid. Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!

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