Berry Pie Bars
A delicious berry pie with FOUR incredible layers: buttery press-in-the-dish crust, juicy blueberries and strawberries, pie crust crumble, and a sweet vanilla glaze.
Something about the 4th of July makes me feel a little bolder when it comes to the desserts I eat. All of a sudden, I’m willing to break out of my chocolate/peanut butter/caramel/more chocolate comfort zone and I’m craving lemon and apple pie and berries.
HELLO SUMMER! ????
I especially love strawberries and blueberries together. They’re naturally red, white, and blue– and who doesn’t love holiday-themed food?! I certainly do.
But it must be said that these beautiful berry-licious bars bring a whole lot more to the table besides their good looks. Every bite is bursting with sweet and juicy berries enveloped in a buttery, crumbly crust, and perfectly drizzled in a dainty vanilla glaze.
There’s just so much going on in here, it’s hard to even find a place to start!
Actually, it’s not that hard. Let’s start with the crust, mmkay?
Beautiful, buttery, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth, press-in-the-pan crust. I adore press-in-the-pan crusts, because they are so incredibly easy. There’s no trouble with getting just the right consistency or trying to roll out a crust without breaking or cracking. It’s just so simple… take the dough, press it to the bottom of the pan, and DONE.
Also loving the berry filling. Obvs.
A lot of pie bars use jam in the middle, but not these. We’re using fresh, juicy berries and not really adding too much else to them. A little sugar, a little cornstarch to thicken it just a bit, and some lemon juice, and that’s it.
On top of the filling we’ll crumble some more crust. It’s the exact same thing that went on the bottom, but when it gets piled on top of the sweet filling, baked to golden perfection, and drizzled with a sweet glaze, it becomes something new and exciting!
Speaking of exciting… and glaze. The glaze on top seriously makes these bars. It’s nothing crazy or fancy, just a simple vanilla glaze, but it just pulls together all the flavors and textures and puts the whole thing right over the edge. It cuts through the tart in the berries and sweetens up the butter crust, making each bite utter summertime perfection.
Happy 4th y’all!
For the Crust
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cold water
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup sugar 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
For the Glaze:
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or greasing it well with nonstick cooking spray.
Using an electric mixer, mix together the butter and the 1 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg.
Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Mix until it becomes crumbly.
Add the water and continue mixing until a cohesive dough forms. Press half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Prepare the filling:
In a small bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and corn starch.
Pour the mixture over the berries in a larger bowl and gently stir to coat the berries well.
Pour the lemon juice over the mixture and stir gently. Pour the filling over the crust.
Pinch off pieces of the remaining crust dough and layer it over the berries.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth glaze forms. Drizzle glaze over the pie bars before cutting to serve.
Store bars in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.