Blackberry Pie Bars // Wit & Vinegar

Am I the only one that doesn’t really care for fruit pie (apple excluded, obvs)? So much mushy filling, so little crust. When I was a kid I would usually eat the crust and leave the berries. And ask for extra ice cream. I was a lemonΒ meringueΒ kind of kid.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Billy you just gave me blackberry fruit pie bars. Get your shit together.

Here’s what I’m thinking: Thin single layer of blackberries and a nice mega layer of pie crust. I’ve got it together, I’ve got it going on.

When I first saw these on Smitten Kitchen I was like what? yes. let’s do this. Then I went and priced out blueberries. They aren’t affordable in my area yet. Aren’t affordable as in the blueberries alone would have been $15 for this recipe. Deb says you can use frozen, but I wanted to take advantage of the fresh berry season. So I went for blackberries.

Hot damn am I happy about that.

Blackberry Pie Bars // Wit & Vinegar

When I tried the first bar after they had barely cooled, I wasn’t sold. It was okay. eh.

Then I let them refrigerate overnight and ate three for breakfast the next morning. Then a couple more for lunch. Before I knew it there were like 5 left. I don’t want to talk about it.

I said I don’t want to talk about it.

But we can talk about how fantastic these are. They’re perfect for BBQs, picnics, and re-creations of the opening credits of sound of music, like this:

Julie Andrews loves pie bars

Look how happy Julie is about these pie bars.

You can try any berry you want in there, maybe even some fresh cherries? But I warn you: do not try it with strawberries. Cooked strawberries turn gray and gross. You’ve been warned.

Now, let’s make some pie bars and impress people and/or do some meadow running.

Blackberry Pie Bars
Adapted, barely, from Smitten Kitchen

1 c white sugar
1 t baking powder
3 c all-purpose flour
1 c cold unsalted butter (2 sticks, cubed up)
1 egg
1/4 t salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
18 oz package blackberries, roughly 3 c
1/2 c white sugar
4 t cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375, grease up a 9×13″ pan.

In a very large bowl whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, and lemon zest.

Using a fork, a pastry cutter, or your incredibly strong swedish massage hands, incorporate the cold cubed butter and egg into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly. Deb has a good picture of what it should look like. Don’t get too crazy and make it look like sand.

In another bowl combine lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar. Gently toss with blackberries.

Pat half the dough mixture into the pan. Top with blackberries, then crumble over the rest of the dough. Bake for 35-50 min until top is golden brown. I know this is a huge time window, but It too mine about 35, I almost burned mine. I don;t want this to happen to you, so start checking at 35 min and then about every 5 min.


Now you can proceed with cutting them up and eating several in one sitting.


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  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)

    Just discovered your blog! These bars look fantastic–I have a feeling I would prefer blackberry over blueberry anyway. I have cooked with frozen wild blueberries before, and they are much better than regular–simply because the flavor is much more concentrated.

    Cracked up at the Sound of Music picture! Hilarious. Can’t wait to explore more…

    • Billy

      Thank You! and I think I’ll definitely try some frozen blueberries here pretty soon if I can’t get my hands on some fresh ones.

  • Erika

    Get up with the get down…These bars definitely got it going on…

    • Billy

      Erika, high fives for awesome comments always.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I am new to your site and love your photography and writing. And I’ve seen these on Deb’s blog. And now I want to make them even more! Fabulous!

    • Billy

      Welcome! Make them ASAP. Sooo good.

  • Dina

    oh they look so yummy!

    • Billy

      Thanks Dina!

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen

    I’m definitely with you on the crust to pie filling ratio. Pie in bar form is so much better, these look amazing!

    • Billy

      Right?! Thanks Rosie!

  • Megan

    Can I just say that that first photo makes me want to punch dance someone in the face because I love it so much!? These look REDONK, as in SO perfect. haha and Maria! She just is spinning with joy about these obvz.

    • Billy

      YEEEAASSSS!!! Punch dance a whole line of people! And obvs Maria is just stoked as hell to have her hands on those pie bars.

  • Rayna

    Looks like a great edition to any warm weather get together!

    • Billy


  • Kate

    Ohmygawd. I’m glad you got your shit together and made these. Thanks for the heads up on the strawberries: I have a ton and they were my first thought. I think I have some other frozen berry and these will be made shortly and when blackberries become available here in August/Sept, I’ll make ’em again.

    • Billy

      Right?! I totally thought strawberries would be a good idea, and they’re far less expensive but they just turned out kind of mushy and flavorless :/ I have confidence in most other berries though!

      • Lauren E.

        BLAST I was about to ask the same thing myself. Womp womp.

        • Billy

          total trombone moment when I tried one.

          • Whovian101

            Turned out delicious… thank you so much.

  • Jade Sheldon

    Blackberries and a Sound of Music reference? Well this is just the best thing ever…

    • Billy

      hahaha Thanks Jade! Who doesn’t love a good meadow frolic every now and then?

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Holy sweet mother of pearl, these look delicious. I just discovered your blog and I’m so glad I did because, MY GOODNESS, everything looks so tasty!

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  • Karen

    Big up to Joanna for linking you, as this is awesome!
    You made me smile!
    Damn blueberries for their diamond prices. Blackberry it is.

    • Billy

      Thank You!! They’re definitely the diamonds of the berries

  • Shelley @ThatGirlShelley

    They look absolutely delicious! I might want to try them with cherries or blackberries.

  • Kelsey

    Made them with raspberries – turned out great! Didn’t have cornstarch in the pantry so I just added a couple teaspoons of flour to berries.

    • Billy


  • Allison

    Made these with fresh strawberries a few weeks ago and turned out great! The lemon zest adds a bit more flavor to the filling! πŸ™‚

    • Billy

      Excited they turned out!!

  • Mallory

    I’m totally with you when it comes to your feelings towards pie. Lemon meringue all the way! Actually you can get rid of the meringue and the crust and just feed me the lemon pudding and I’ll be a happy camper.

    • Billy

      I was a meringue and/or lemon filling kind of kid.

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  • Carolina

    These look SO amazing!! Like crazy OMFG a professional French baker made these ridiculously beautiful pie bars. Lol

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  • Peter @ Feed Your Soul Too

    These looked amazing. I needed to cap off our BBQ meal so I featured these decadent bars on my Friday Five – BBQ addition over @ Feed Your Soul Too –

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  • Jenny Depa

    I’m going to try them w/fresh berries [and whatever ‘fruit’ happens to be in season]. How about rhubarb/strawberry too? Thanks!!!

  • Therese

    Haha–only “Maria” would hoist Blackberry Bars when there is no Sports Authority in the Alps to yank down some wrist weights. A snack and a workout in the mountains before getting back to that pile of kids……love it!

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  • Vivienne Nonis

    Ok, so picture of Julie Andrews had me hooked. Now I want to make these bars and see if I can be as happy as her … although there are no such mountains here in the Netherlands. I shall have to remedy this by going to Switzerland or actually driving to Salzburg.

  • Larry

    OMG I’m dyyyyyyyyyyyying over that photo of Julie Andrews doing gay spins with those bars in hand.
    I wish I could insert an emoticon here! UGHHHH

  • Erin

    If you want to do a strawberry similar type pie-ish one, Martha Stewart has a recipe (think she calls it a cake) that is super yummy and easy. Strawberries go on top, so maybe that helps? Idk, but I prefer black berries, so trying this soon!

    • Billy

      Thanks for the tip!

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  • Brittany @ Egg Free Bakery

    Thanks for the tasty recipe!

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  • Julie @ Texan New Yorker

    Hey, thanks for posting these, I made them over the weekend and they are so delicious! I took them to a family reunion gathering and everyone raved, including little kids. I did take your advice and let them cool, then sit in the fridge overnight before sampling. They’re amazing. I blogged them today, too. Thanks again!

  • Bonnie

    Planning to make these for the 4th of July – had them bookmarked for just the right occasion! πŸ™‚ The fact that they are better when chilled makes them great for travel.
    A question, though: do you think you could bring the dough together by pulsing in a food processor?
    Thanks!! Your blog is great. πŸ™‚

    • Billy

      Hi Bonnie! You could definitely use a food processor, just be sure to not over process. You want the butter to be roughly the size of peas. I would blend the egg in first before the butter too just because it might be more difficult to get it distributed once the butter’s in there!

  • Jb

    Found your site in a buzzfeed article. Just bookmarked the website because of the beautiful pics and funny content. I’m going to make these bars with cherries today.

    • Billy

      YES! I just did this the other day! A good addition with cherries is about 2/3 cups finely chopped pistachios added to the second half of the dough for the crumble topping.

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  • JB

    Do you think this will work with peaches? I have a ton of ripe peaches and I loved doing this with cherries and a raspberry/blueberry mixture a while ago

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