Tag Archives: pie bars

Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars

6 Sep


I have to admit, I was extremely hesitant about this week’s chosen recipe for Project Pastry Queen (see everyone’s results delicious results here!).  After all, I have my own secret special recipe for pecan pie and, since I was bringing this into the office for our September birthday celebration, if this recipe was a flop I did NOT want people thinking this was a version of my famous Thanksgiving pie.

But I saw that my fellow PPQ’ers loved the recipe and I decided to go for it and wouldn’t you know that this is a great recipe!  I can definitely say this though: it is RICH.  This recipe has a total of 7 cups of brown sugar in it–one cup in the crust and 6 cups in the filling.  Definitely meant to be eaten in very small portions.  I liked the addition of bourbon to it, though, and am even thinking about tweaking my own pie recipe just a touch to include it.

Just some notes about my little changes to Rebecca’s original recipe: I left out the coconut since the recipe depended on coconut for texture, not flavor, and I’ve never really loved shredded coconut’s texture.  I substituted in an extra 3/4 cup of pecans to make up for any lack of texture in the filling.  I also used strictly whole wheat flour in the crust here.  Truth be told, it was because I was afraid I would run out of white all-purpose flour before finishing my various baking projects for the day and I have to say that I think the whole wheat flour really was a great add.  It gave the crust a sweet nutty flavor that really complimented the filling instead of just being a sweet butter crust to support the filling on top of it.

This recipe makes a huge huge batch of bars, so just beware.  Also, I didn’t have the 12×17 baking dish the recipe calls for so I used my largest and second largest glass baking pans and I actually still had extra crust left over.

Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen bars
Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (white all-purpose flour can be used instead)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 8 large eggs
  • 6 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups pecan halves

To Make Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12×17″ glass baking pan (or whatever smaller glass pans you have on hand).
  2. Beat butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add the sugar to the butter and beat 1 minute, until fluffy.
  3. Add flour and salt, mix on low speed until evenly incorporated but still crumbly.
  4. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan(s).  I made sure not to let the crust get over 1/4 of an inch, which is why I had leftover crust mixture even after 2 pans.  I’d rather have more filling than crust in the end, wouldn’t you?
  5. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, until it has darkened to a deep golden brown.
  6. Leave the oven set on 350 degrees while you make the filling.

To Make Filling

  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until blended.
  2. Stir in the bourbon, butter, vanilla, flour and salt until blended.
  3. Stir in pecan halves.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust(s).
  5. Bake until the center is set and doesn’t wobble anymore, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Cool thoroughly, at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Between my two different pans, I baked one until it was fully set and one until it was mostly set but still a little jiggly when I took it out.  I preferred the one that was baked longer, as the jiggly one was a bit more oozy and less solid than the ones pictured above.  It’s up to you, though!

Sour Cream Blackberry Pie Bars

8 Aug


I’ve only been blogging for a few months but I followed various food blogs for a long time before starting my own.  Even so, there are so many facets to the food blogging world that I’m only now being introduced to.  One of those facets is the Project Pastry Queen, a group of extraordinary bloggers who are baking their way through Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen, and a group I am pleased to say I am joining!  Each week one of the members chooses a recipe, we all give it a shot and share the hopefully fabulous results with you.

I received my copy of the cookbook last week and this week’s challenge for the group was inconveniently a brownie recipe…there’s still a batch of brownies sitting on my counter slowly disappearing, so for the sake of my waistline, I dove into Rebecca’s recipe collection with one I knew I could pass off to the boyfriend who would happily devour it all himself.  Strategy is everything, right?

This recipe falls somewhere between a pie, a cobbler, and a cake.  If you don’t want to wait for it to cool so you can cut it into bars, Rebecca suggests you can just spoon it out of the pan warm like a cobbler.  Either way sounds good to me!



Sour Cream Blackberry Pie Bars
Recipe from The Pastry Queen

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 16-oz bags of frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13″ baking pan with butter or spray.  Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse for about 45 seconds until fully combined.  Cut butter into 1/2″ cubes and drop into the flour mixture.  Pulse the butter-flour mixture it looks crumbly.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut the butter in using two knives, a pastry cutter, or an electric stand mixer.
  2. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumbly mixture to use as the topping.  Press the rest of the crumbly mixture evenly into the greased baking pan (could pie crust ever get any easier??).
  3. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes until it is golden brown.  Note: my crust barely browned on top but it turns out it was dark brown on the bottom and very crunchy.  Daniel said it was the perfect crunchy texture, so just be aware that you don’t need to get it super browned on top.
  4. Let the crust cool for at least 10 minutes and in the meantime…
  5. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, add sugar and whisk until completely combined.  Add sour cream (whisk), flour and salt (whisk again).  Gently fold the blackberries into the mixture.
  6. Pour the blackberry mixture over the baked crust and make sure it is spread into the corners evenly.  Sprinkle the reserved crumbles evenly across the top of the blackberry mixture–I thought it would be a pretty light sprinkling, but it ended up being a complete crust and you couldn’t see any of the blackberry mixture underneath.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is lightly browned.  Let cool for at least 1 hour if you want to cut it into bars.  If you want to spoon it out like a cobbler, let it cool for about 30 minutes or as long as you can stand it!

I think whipped cream was a great compliment to this recipe.  For about 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream, you’ll need 3/4 cup of chilled heavy cream, 3/4 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a chilled bowl is suggested.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, medium speed for about 30 seconds, and then kick it up to high speed until it’s the consistency you want it. (Cooks Illustrated, March 2005)

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