Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Healthier Blackberry Bars

Last summer, my friend Dixie and I had big plans for canning blackberry jam. So we got together a few times and picked TONS of blackberries. We washed them, dried them then froze them. But we never got around to canning jam. That being said, I have 3 gallon sized bags full of frozen blackberries. I've been using them in my morning smoothie, but I still have a lot left! I'm not complaining at all, but when asked to bring something to share to a Super Bowl party I decided to make a dessert featuring the berries. I looked on my Pinterest boards and found a dessert I'd been wanting to make, Blackberry Pie Bars. They were easy to make, and were absolutely delicious! I can't wait to make them again.

The recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker, but I adapted it and changed a few things to fit my needs. I used whole wheat flour, and coconut oil instead of white flour and butter. I also squeezed the lemon juice from my zested lemons into the blackberry filling. I imagine you could use any berry, fresh or frozen, for this. Yum yum!!

Blackberry Pie Bars, Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 18 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 55 minutes

For the Crust and Topping:
Zest of 2 lemons
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups white whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups coconut oil, or unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

For the Blackberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup white whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt
Juice of the two zested lemons (optional)
6 cups fresh blackberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until all of the sugar has been moistened. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lemon sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of peas, about 10 to 12 pulses.
3. Measure out 1½ cups of the crumb mixture to use for the topping and put it in the refrigerator until needed. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust and make sure all of the blackberries are in one layer and not sitting on top of one another.
5. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.

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