This is another of those recipes that came into my inbox that immediately made me start to drool. Joy the Baker posted these on her blog back in May, and I knew they would need to make an appearance at the height of berry season. I added them to the menu for Jim’s birthday party, and I was overwhelmed with how delicious they were. They work with a variety of berries, but, as Joy notes, I would stick with the less juicy varieties, as you want a crisp, not soggy, crust for your bars. I will definitely be making these again.
Crust & 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
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen mixd berries, defrosted and drained
*You can also use 6 cups of fresh berries, or 1 (16-ounce) package frozen berries and 3 cups of fresh berries. 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!
Crust & Topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350⁰. Grease a half sheet baking pan (12×17-inch) with butter or cooking spray and set aside. If you use a 9×13-inch baking pan you’ll have thicker bars.
- 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.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt.
- Gently fold in the berries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may have to distribute the berries 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.