When I planned the menu for Caroline’s birthday party, these bars were something of an afterthought.  They helped round out the dessert portion of the menu, adding another berry treat for our little berry fiend.  I suspected they would be good but oh.my.gosh, people, these were definitely the highlight of the spread.  The buttery, crumbly crust with a hint of lemon and the amazing blackberry filling are an irresistible combination.  These bake up very thick, so you can cut them on the small side.  The recipe doubles easily in a 9 x 13-inch pan to feed a larger crowd.  This recipe will undoubtedly become a total staple for bringing to spring and summer parties, potlucks, and more.  I’m looking forward to trying it with other fruits as well.

  • Yield about 16-20 bars


For the crust and topping: 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • ¾ cup (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cold

For the filling: 

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 15-16 oz. blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained of excess juices)


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with foil and grease lightly.  In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.  Pulse briefly to blend.  Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Process in short pulses to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until only small pieces of butter remain and the mixture is crumbly.

  • 02

    Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture for topping the bars.  Add the rest of the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form an even layer of crust on the bottom of the pan.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until light golden.  Let cool 10-15 minutes before proceeding.

  • 03

    In a medium bowl, make the filling mixture.  Combine the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon juice and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Gently stir in the blackberries with a spatula.  Spread the filling mixture over the pre-baked crust in the baking pan.  Crumble the reserved topping mixture over the filling evenly.

  • 04

    Bake until the top is beginning to brown and the bars are just set, about 45 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Chill to firm up before slicing and serving.