Easy Blackberry Pie Bars Recipe
This blackberry pie bar recipe is one of my favorites!
I LOVE this blackberry pie bars recipe! The crust is my favorite part. It is flaky and tender, yet thick enough that you can eat the bars with your hands. No fork necessary. Basically, the sweet berry filling and tender, flaky crust are magical together. Yum!
My mom brought these pie bars to Thanksgiving dinner a little while ago and I fell in love. Couldn’t stop eating them. She got the recipe from a lady that she went to church with years ago.
Blackberry Pie Bars Crust Ingredients
The crust is made with flour, salt, shortening, butter, egg yolk, and milk. The original recipe actually called for 1 cup shortening, but my mom and I like doing half butter and half shortening. We like butter. 😉
Mixing the Crust
I cut it all together until it is mostly like cornmeal, but also has several pea-sized and smaller chunks in there.
In the recipe ingredients, it says 2/3 cup milk, but note that you will actually need a little less. You add milk to egg yolk to equal 2/3 cup altogether. Trust me, it works. Remember to save the egg white to brush over the crust before baking!
Rolling Out the Crust
The crust is pretty sticky, so you may want to oil or flour your rolling pin. Rolling it out on a pastry mat or silicone baking mat is a good idea too.
I find it is easier to roll the bottom crust a little smaller than the 9×13 pan, then transfer to the pan and gently press it out the rest of the way. You can also use the pie crust trick where you roll it out, then loosely roll it up onto the rolling pin. Transfer over to the pan and carefully unroll it off the pin and into the pan. 🙂
Preparing the Blackberries
Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the berries. When they are in season, they are sweeter. I think 2/3 cup sugar is usually about right for me with fresh berries in the late spring and summer.
Three 6-ounce containers of fresh blackberries are pretty much the perfect amount for these blackberry pie bars. My mom says she has used frozen berries with success as well though!
P.S. The lemon zest is optional, but I think it adds a nice dimension of flavor. Also, the original recipe (Danish Apple Bars) uses an apple filling, which I included in the recipe notes. It’s pretty good too!
The Secret Ingredient
Ok, it’s not actually a secret ingredient, but it is a weird one: crushed cornflakes! These threw me for a loop because I had never heard of doing such a thing, but they say it helps keep the bottom crust from getting soggy. Feel free to try this pie bar recipe without cornflakes if you want and let me know how it goes.
P.S. You can use any type of crushed bland cereal in this recipe, but I have only tried it with cornflakes so far.
Adding the Top Crust
Once you get that top crust on there, you may need to do a little bit of pinching crust cracks together or transferring overhanging pieces to empty spots or whatever. It doesn’t need to be perfect though!
Maybe you’re much better at rolling out pie crust than I am and none of that will even apply to you. I bet this mat would be helpful for me!
Pouring on the Glaze
One time I made the mistake of pouring the glaze on while the bars were still too warm and the glaze kinda bubbled up and didn’t look as pretty. So now I wait until the bars have had time to cool a bit before I add the glaze. 🙂
Finishing Touches + Tips
The edges may end up looking a bit scraggly, so I trim a very small bit off each side to even them out so it looks nicer. And I am always sure to eat those trimmings right away. Delicious.
I like using foil to line the pan for most bar recipes because it is easy to remove them from the pan for cutting and serving. Another thing I like to use for easy cutting of bars is a rocker blade pizza cutter! Yes!
Hope you enjoy these blackberry pie bars as much as I do!
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Easy Blackberry Pie Bars Recipe
- 9x13 pan
- Medium bowl
- Small bowl
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 12 1/2 ounces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 egg separated
- ⅔ cup milk actually a little less
- ½ cup cornflakes cereal crushed
- 3 to 4 cups blackberries
- ⅔ cup sugar more or less depending on sweetness of berries
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest optional
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon water or milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, overhanging on the ends so you can easily lift to remove the bars from the pan. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
- Add the flour, salt, shortening, and butter to a large bowl and mix with a pastry blender until it looks like cornmeal with pea-sized and smaller pieces.
- Place the egg yolk in a small liquid measuring cup and lightly beat with a fork. Then add milk to the mixture until it reaches 2/3 cup. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions. Lightly cover one portion with plastic wrap or other so it doesn't dry out, then roll out the other portion until it is close to 9x13 size or a little smaller. Carefully place the rolled out dough into the prepared pan as the bottom crust, gently press it out to cover the bottom of the pan, if needed. Spread crushed cornflakes over the bottom crust.
- In a medium bowl, gently stir together the blackberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest (if using). Pour the berry mixture into the pan and spread on top of the cornflakes and crust.
- Roll out the other portion of dough to 9x13 size and place in the pan over the berries. Lightly beat the egg white, then brush over the top crust.
- Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water or milk, and vanilla for the glaze. Pour the glaze over the bars after the bars have cooled a bit. Serve warm, at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.
Comments & Reviews
What temp and how long to bake?
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Can u use store bought pie crust for this recipe?
Yes, that would be fine! A store-bought crust usually is round, so you will want to adjust either the shape of the crust or the pan and all that. I prefer this crust recipe because it is so delicious this recipe, but I think store-bought can work. I hope it works out really for you!
I have used crushed Corn Chex instead of corn flakes. Delicious!
Good to know! Thank you, Dee!
I’m Drooling 🤤 just Looking at Your Picture. Could you use Fresh Blueberries, or Canned Peach’s?
I think blueberries would probably work with this pie bar recipe. But here’s a blueberry bar recipe that I love too: https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/recipes/blueberry-sour-cream-bars-recipe/. Canned peaches may be too wet, but fresh peaches might work. I haven’t tried either in this recipe myself though! Thank you!
I used frozen wild blueberries and they worked great! I just thawed and rinsed them and let them dry in a colander.
Can these be frozen after making?
I haven’t tried freezing them before, so I’m not sure. I think it would work, but the texture of the crust would probably not be quite the same after freezing. Probably still delicious, but not as delicious as it is before freezing. 🙂
Yum yum!!! 2nds all around. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Molly! Glad you like this pie bar recipe!
They look delicious, but I can’t eat blackberries . Could you use strawberries?
Yes, I think that strawberries, raspberries, or apples would work! (Apple instructions are in the notes of the recipe.) You may need to reduce the sugar called for in the filling, depending on the sweetness of the berries. I haven’t tried this recipe with strawberries before, so I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it! Thanks, Mary!
Did you use a 9x 13 with deeper sides or 9×13 jelly roll pan?
Hi, Stacy! I usually use a 9×13 Pyrex glass baking dish for this pie bar recipe. You could probably use either of the pans you mention though. 🙂
OMG..I was so excited to try this recipe,that I got the blackberries mixture set ,b4 rolling the halved dough sheets,I sprinkled the crushed cereal (used Honey Bunches of Oats) on bottom dough layer,then using rolling pin w/ the rolled doughI put the top layer over that 😮🙄 duh!! Forgot to put berries in-between!!, LOL 🤣 needless to say I had a time picking up the top dough layer,now it’s flipped,and have crushed cereal topping ,but it looks delicious..my husband is trying it now!! he’s my official taste tester!! He just said,yuummm that’s really good, I’m taking some to work tomorrow 😃..
Glad you were able to salvage the pie bars and that your taste tester approved! 😉 Thank you for your comment and review, Sally Ann!
These taste great! I have an over abundance of Marionberries and made these bars for a potluck tomorrow. They look great and taste just as good. Thanks :)j
Yum! Your pie bars sound so delicious. Great way to use up and enjoy those marionberries! Thank you for your review and comment, Jo!
I’m thinking about removing the blackberry seeds before adding them in. Would the juice and pulp make it too mushy? Would it be better to include the whole berry?
I have only made this blackberry pie bar recipe as written, with the whole berries, and it works really well that way! I hope it works out well for you!
I have made this recipe at least 4 times. I have used a store bought crust and made the crust exactly per directions. Will not use a store bought crust again. Your crust recipe is tender, flaky and crispy. We prefer a combination of blackberries and blueberries, but have also enjoyed raspberries and strawberries. To make it easier to rollout the crust, I added a step of dividing, wrapping and refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes.
Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe!
Thank you so much for your helpful feedback and tips, Carey! Your pie bar fruit combinations sound delicious!
These blackberry pie bars are absolutely my favorite new recipe. I did not use the crushed cereal and they came out perfect, anyway. I did drain my washed berries on a towel first. Next time I will try half blueberries. I bake for 2 charity bake sales all year long. I will be sending these bars.
Yay! That is good to know that it works well without the cereal because a lot of times I don’t have that ingredient on hand. And now I really want to eat pie bars. 😉 Thank you for your comment and review, Donna!
Thoughts on using heavy cream instead of milk?
I haven’t tried that substitution personally, but I think it would work well! Might make the crust a little more rich. Let us know how it goes!
Is the butter or shortening supposed to be cold or room temperature?
Great question. I use cold butter and room temp shortening. 🙂 Hope it turns out awesome for you, Kash!
This looks so good! Can I make this with other kinds of berries?
Yes, you can definitely give other berries a try! And see the notes of the recipe for an apple version as well.
Thanks for sharing! Do they keep long?
We usually finish them off pretty quickly! I’m guessing they would keep for a few days, but are best same day.
This recipe (almost exact) has been in my family for many years. Originally called Apple Slice, though we always used black berries of some variety. So good. I am baking now with peaches! I have always used frozen fruit as easily as fresh. The only difference is the glaze. I use lemon juice blended with powdered sugar and it’s a perfect combination. Love the versatility of this recipe.
Hey Marie, thanks for the rating and the notes. We are glad you continue to enjoy it.