Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's David's Birthday!

Today is David's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVID! I've been telling him for at least two weeks that he needs to get Dorie's cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours and pick out his birthday treat. Finally, last night he got it out and made his selection. What did he pick? You won't believe it. He picked the Perfect Party Cake! What's the big deal? Well...unbeknownst to David, that's the TWD assignment for next week! It's a little too involved for a weeknight birthday treat, so I promised that I would make it for him this weekend. But for tonight's actual birthday treat, I have Joy the Baker to thank. I was looking around her beautiful (and funny!) site and came across Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar. They looked delicious (and simple), so I decided to give them a go. The base layer is a pie-type crust made with lemon sugar (lemon zest rubbed into sugar, so that the sugar becomes lemon flavored/scented). You can even see the little flecks of lemon zest in the crust:

The next layer is a mixture of blackberries, sour cream, eggs, and sugar, and then there's a little more of the pie crust topping. After a stint in the oven, this is what you'll be rewarded with:

These were absolutely delicious! The crust is amazing. I'll be using that for other things in the future! I was thinking of a blueberry pie, perhaps. Mmmmm. Anyway, instead of birthday cake, David had a big ol' Blackberry Pie Bar with ice cream. I think he looks pretty pleased...
The recipe makes a ton of Blackberry Pie Bars, so the remainder will be heading to work with David in the morning. I hope the folks at CUB like them!
We've got some pretty sweet news to share, too. See the picture below? That's me and David, standing in what will be my new kitchen in about 6 or 7 months! We broke ground Monday morning on our dream home in David's hometown. We're so excited! We've found the perfect house plan, a fantastic builder, and we're on our way! Don't worry...I'll keep you updated! I may need some advice when it gets closer to kitchen planning time!
Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar
Joy the Baker/The Pastry Queen
For the Crust/Topping:
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 sticks butter, chilled and cubed
zest from 2 lemons
Blackberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup AP flour
pinch salt
6 cups fresh blackberries
For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a jellyroll pan generously. Zest both lemons. Place sugar into a bowl; add lemon zest. Using your hands, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until the sugar seems to feel a little wet from the lemon oil. Combine the lemon sugar, flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture is dry and crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the jellyroll pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
For the Filling:
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, sour cream, flour, and salt. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may need to distribute the blackberries evenly over the crust. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Cool for 1 hour before slicing into generous servings.

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