Now that so many different types of fruit are coming back into season, our fridge is stocked to the gills with different types. A handful of grapes with lunch, a few cut-up juicy strawberries for a mid-day snack…you get the picture. But what really makes me happy is baking with fruit. Heated up, the natural sugars in fruit brighten up anything you bake them in. Take these pie bars, for example. Blackberries have never been a favorite of mine but since I know the power some time in a 350 degree oven can have, I gave them a whirl in these bars. I added a some strawberries also because, well…why not? The recipe calls for frozen blackberries but since it was the first time I had ever baked with them, I wanted the full-on experience of what so many adore about these berries and I used fresh. And as it turns out, when baked, I love blackberries! The fresh berries held up beautifully to the heat and each bar had a few whole berries to savor.
The oatmeal comes into play by my own accord. It’s not called for in the original recipe but I amended the recipe a bit to be WW PointsPlus-friendly (3 Points each by the way – 16 bars from an 8×8 inch pan). And as it turns out, this was probably the best substitution I’ve made in ages! The oatmeal gets whirred around in the food processor (per original recipe instructions) and breaks down into a fine oat flour, blending perfectly with a little bit of all-purpose flour. When all baked up, it lends a delightful and almost nutty flavor to the pie bar crust and topping which blended perfectly with the sweet fruit. Overall, these bars were a fabulous end to our Mother’s Day lobster lunch yesterday with Kyle’s mom and I can definitely see different types of fresh fruit being used in this recipe in the next few months.
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, chilled
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp old-fashioned oats
- small pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 12 lb fresh blackberries
- 4 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
- To make the crust and topping: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Combine the oats, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly, 30-60 seconds.
- Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake 12-15 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
- To make the filling: While the crust bakes, whisk the eggs in a large bowl then whisk in the sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, and lemon zest. Gently fold in the berries and spoon the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling, and bake 45 to 55 minutes.
- Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars or scoop out of the pan to serve cobbler-style.