If you’re a pie girl, you will love this recipe. Traditional pie is something most people never get tired of. But if you’re looking for something different, try this brand new recipe for Mixed Berry Pie Bars.
These beauties look a lot like regular pie, but are baked in an 8″x8″ square baking dish. The trick is getting the ratio of crust to filling just right. A slice of good fruit pie is usually brimming with juicy peaches, berries, or apples (to name a few), but a pie that can be eaten with your hands requires a more concentrated filling. Cornstarch helped in this area too, which is the thickener of choice with fruit pies to guarantee a glossy (not cloudy) center.
Of course, all pie lovers know that good pie isn’t just about the filling; the crust is a major player, too. I obsessively tested pie dough recipes to find the ideal crust, and this crust works beautifully for these pie bars. To ensure a sturdy (that is, never soggy) bottom crust, start the pie in a hot oven and place it on a preheated rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rung. That way, the bottom crust gets a quick boost of heat to help it brown nicely, so it ends up as crispy as a cookie—and just as hand-held.
- Butter or nonstick vegetable oil spray (for pan)
- 1 batch Our Favorite Pie Dough, divided into 2 discs, chilled
- All-purpose flour (for rolling)
- 3 cups mixed berries, preferably a mix of blueberries and hulled, quartered strawberries
- 1 cup blueberry preserves
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg (optional)
- 2 teaspoons milk (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coarse sugar (optional)
- Special Equipment
- An 8x8x2″ baking pan (preferably metal)
- Butter baking pan and line with parchment, leaving a 1″ overhang on both long sides. Roll out 1 disc of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 13″ square. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin, then
- Roll out second disc to a 13″ square. Transfer to parchment or a large cutting board. Using a ruler or straight edge, cut dough into 10 (1″-wide) strips for lattice, or use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut into circles. Chill both crusts while you prepare the filling.
- Place racks in center and bottom of oven; preheat to 425°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on bottom rack to preheat.
- Bring berries, preserves, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until berries are broken down and mixture has thickened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl and chill 15 minutes.
- Pour cooled berry mixture evenly over bottom crust. Arrange strips in a lattice pattern or overlap circles on top. Fold excess dough from top lip of pan down over itself to create a border. Crimp slightly, if desired. Chill 15 minutes. Beat egg and milk in a small bowl, if using.
- Brush top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, if using. Transfer baking pan to preheated baking sheet. Bake bar until crust begins to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate sheet, move to center rack, and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking, covering loosely with foil if crust gets too dark, until crust is golden brown and thickened juices are bubbling, 30–35 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Lift bar out of pan using parchment overhang and cut into 16 squares.
- Do Ahead
- Bars can be made 3 days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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