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Blueberry Pie Bars

May 15, 2023

I'm a self-taught baker, recipe developer, photographer and writer in Brooklyn, New York. 

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blueberry pie bars with lattice top sliced into squares on a marble background

For these blueberry pie bars, I started with the idea of a cornmeal crust and topping. But I *really* wanted to do a lattice top because I care about things like that. The cornmeal made the dough a bad candidate for the rolling, cutting and manhandling that lattice requires. Therefore, that ingredient left the chat.

This dough is pretty close to my sugar cookie dough, but with a little lemon zest. And it comes together in the food processor, stand mixer on a large bowl with a hand mixer. Because I wanted to keep the bottom crust more slack so you could spread it into the tin, I have a little trick. Mix the dough, then spread half of it into the tin, then add another 1/4-cup all-purpose flour into the remaining dough. This makes the resulting dough more firm, and way easier to handle and weave in a lattice.

unbaked lattice crust tops a blueberry filling for blueberry pie bars
unbaked lattice crust tops a blueberry filling for blueberry pie bars

The lattice weaving technique can be intimidating (and maybe a little tedious). I get it. So if you don’t want to do it, you can always roll out the dough to 1/4-inch or 1/6-inch thickness. Then, cut shapes out like stars, hearts, and scatter them over the top. Or, you could roll out a 9×9-inch square, about the same thickness. Then, cut shapes out of that, freeze it, then transfer it to the tin to be top of the bars.

A pan of blueberry pie bars with a lattice crust sitting on a cooling rack

Cook your blueberry filling more than you think you need to. If you don’t reduce the berries enough, as the bars bake, the blueberries can re-hydrate the filling. This makes them difficult to cut.

For super clean cut lines, I recommend chilling your bars for a couple of hours after they cool, even freezing them helps a lot.

blueberry pie bars with lattice top sliced into squares on a ceramic plate

Because I want you to WIN! I’m including this video of me weaving the lattice. I accidentally did 11 vertical strips instead of 10 and had to cut that part off later so it could fit in the tin.

Did you make these blueberry pie bars? I want to see! Tag me @easygayoven on TikTok and Instagram.

blueberry pie bars with lattice top sliced into squares on a marble background

Blueberry Pie Bars

Print Recipe
Lemon-scented sugar cookie crusts sandwich blueberry filling in these blueberry pie bars — lattice top not required.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword blueberries, blueberry bars, blueberry filling, blueberry pie, lattice, lattice crust, sugar cookie dough

Ingredients

Base and top crust dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (cut into tablespoon-size pieces) (226 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar 195 grams
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 325 grams(separated)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Blueberry filling

  • 1 pound fresh blueberries 16 ounces
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the seeds from half a vanilla bean
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar 142 grams
  • Hefty pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • Prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, juice, zest, vanilla, sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, covered until the berries are soft and begin to burst. Crush as many berries as you can with the back of a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.
  • Continue cooking, stirring often, until the berries have broken down completely and you’re left with a sauce-y, thickened mixture. Stir in the corn starch-water mixture and let the berry filling come to a boil.
  • Cook until the mixture has thickened more and a spoon leaves a trail on the bottom of the pan that lasts for a second or two. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Prepare a 9×9-inch tin by greasing it with butter and lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Make the crust and topping. In a food processor, stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla. The mixture may curdle slightly — that’s okay. Beat in the salt and *only 2 1/4 cup* of the flour just until the last streaks of flour disappear. Spread half of the dough into the bottom of the tin in one even layer.
  • Add the remaining 1/4-cup of flour to the other half of the dough and fold in just until combined. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a rectangle that measures about 9×13 inches. Chill the dough in the fridge or freezer until it is completely firm.
  • If at any point the dough becomes too warm and slack, just stick it back in the fridge or freezer on a flat surface. It’s much better to be patient than try to fight loose dough. Cut the dough into about 24 strips, or as many as you can, each a half-inch thick and at least 9 inches long. (You want to have extra in case of breakage.)
  • On a sheet of parchment or a silicone mat, arrange 10 strips, evenly spaced apart, in a vertical lines so that they are 9 inches from end to end.
  • Starting from left to right, fold the first strip up halfway, then do the same for the third, fifth, seventh and ninth. Lay dow a strip of dough horizontally, right where the fold is, then bring the strips you had folded up down again over top of the horizontal strip.
  • Now fold up vertical strips 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Repeat the same step as above with another new strip going horizontally, and the fold the vertical strips down again.
  • Repeat these steps with three more horizontal strips, alternating folding up every other vertical strip, to complete the bottom half.
  • Turn the unfinished top half of the lattice to face you and repeat the weaving pattern on that side with five more horizontal strips. Transfer the lattice to the freezer until completely firm.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the blueberry filling evenly onto the dough in the tin. Then delicately place the lattice top on top of the filling. You may have to trim it to fit snugly in the tin. Transfer to the freezer once more to completely firm up before baking.
  • Bake on the middle rack at 400°F for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for another 30 minutes. The filling should be bubbling on the sides and under the crust, and the lattice should be starting to lightly brown on the high points.
  • Allow the bars to cool completely in their tin. For clean slices, chill the bars in the fridge for a couple hours, or for pristine slices, stick them in the freezer. Use a long, sharp, serrated knife to delicately score through the tops then press through to the bottom.

Notes

You can spread out the hot filling on a rimmed sheet tray or other shallow dish to speed up cooling.
If any part of the top gets too brown during baking, tent the bars with some aluminum foil until done.
You don’t have to make a lattice crust for the top. See above in the description for my other suggestions.

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