As much as I like warm and sunny spring days….gray and rainy spring days make me even happier. I am talking a constant rain/downpour/drizzle and overcast gray clouds – the kind that makes it feel like dusk from morning to, well, dusk. And fog, well I wouldn’t complain.
These days aren’t my favorite because I like to stay in bed and nap all day. Not at all. I like to crack the windows in the house and let the soft scent of rain fill the house. I enjoy the soft pitter patter of rain against the windows. I like the streaks of rain running down glass panes. I like to watch rain drops fall into puddles…ripples are hypnotic. I like how the grass appears greener against the overall grayness. I like how a cup of coffee tastes warmer and more rejuvenating on a rainy day. I like how any book becomes a page turner. And most of all, I love to putz around the kitchen.
Nursing a cup of coffee, flipping through a few cookbooks, and taking stock of my pantry/fridge. The fun is creating something out of what I have on hand…because I am not venturing out if I don’t have to…rainy days are to be spent at home, not running errands … in sweat pants and fluffy socks, not jeans with wet hems and soggy socks.
Today was a rainy day. I had to work. I felt cheated out of my calming rainy day. Am I weird to wish for rain on my days off? Probably. If you have a rainy day in the future, I recommend making these blackberry pie bars. Just stock up your fridge with blackberries and lemons, oh and watch the Weather Channel so you don’t have to leave your house.
Pie bars, where the crust is more of a shortbread cookie – so no pie crust, hallelujah right? A filling that is studded with fresh blackberries. And then there is the crumble topping. Holy moly these are off- the- charts- good. So good, that after I ate 3 rather large portions, in quick succession (like 5 minutes, not joking)…I shoved them in the freezer. I couldnt’ trust myself, home alone with these pie bars. I have a very weak spot for pie or anything resembling pie…
Oh and hey, I bet your mom would like these on Sunday. Can you believe it is Mother’s Day already?
Blackberry Pie Bars
Makes 8 x 10in.
(it is an odd size, if you use an 8 x 8 pan, the baking time will be longer, and the bars will be thicker)
1 + 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
pinch of salt
1 + 1/2 Sticks butter, cold. Cut into cubes.
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
pinch of salt
3 Cups Fresh Blackberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking dish, set aside.
Combine granulated sugar and lemon zest on a cutting board or clean countertop and using the back of a spoon, rub the zest into the sugar. Voila, lemon scented sugar. This is a great trick for adding flavor to dishes!
In a mixing bowl, combine the lemon sugar, flour, salt, and cubed cold butter. Beat the ingredients together until they form a crumbly mixture. It will look dry and crumbly, but will form a ball when pressed together. Reserve one cup of the mixture. Press the remaining mixture into the baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool (about ten minutes).
When crust is cooling, make filling. Whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Gently fold in blackberries. Pour filling onto the cooled crust – you may have to spread out the blackberries so that they are evenly scattered. Sprinkle the reserved crust evenly over the filling. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top begins to brown slightly and the filling is set.
Remove from oven and let cool before slicing. This might be the hardest part!