Blackberry pecan bars are the perfect breakfast to dessert treat with a jammy berry filling in a brown sugar pecan shortbread crust.
blackberry pecan bars combine tart berries with toasty pecans in a brown sugar shortbread crumble crust
Can I just say I’m a little obsessed with crumble bars? I’ve made them every which way, from Meyer lemon and apricot to my current favorite, white peach, and I’m attached to every one of them. Today I used blackberries and pecans, because that’s what I need to use up, but feel free to experiment with other combinations of fruit and nuts. The genius of these little squares, besides the buttery nutty shortbread crust and the nubbly topping is the unexpected burst of fresh flavor that comes from using fresh fruit. I can think of so many variations of fruit, jam and nuts for these bars already. I know they’re going to become regulars at our house.
blackberry pecan bars are the ultimate dessert for breakfast
Better than anything you’ll find in any coffee shop or bakery case, these fresh berry bars with a heavy pecan presence these go especially well with a cup of coffee, but don’t let that stop you from serving them after dinner. They make a good bake and take option for any occasion, too.
what you’ll need
- blackberries + blackberry jam
- a little jam along with fresh berries makes a perfect filling. Feel free to use most any jam you have in the fridge.
- pecans are a star player in these bars, they go into the crust and on top, where they toast as they bake for fabulous flavor.
- a combination of granulated and brown sugar for a hint of butterscotch flavor.
- I used all purpose flour. You can experiment with half whole wheat or all white whole wheat flour with good results. An all purpose gluten free baking mix should work fine, too.
- lemon juice
- I taste my filling and add lemon juice as necessary to brighten he flavor.
- this thickens the filling a bit because blackberries are juicy.
interchangeable berry fillings for blackberry pecan bars
Raspberries and blueberries can be used in these bars. If you happen to have the luxury of going berry picking I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you that you MUST make these. I think they’d be amazing with wild black raspberries, or tart wild blueberries. Even better if you can get your hands on more unusual varieties like huckleberries, Olallieberries, or Marionberries. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Berry Picking to find out how you can snag yourself some fabulous local berries!
more summer berry desserts
- Lemon glazed raspberry bread
- Triple Berry Muffins
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Blackberry Slab Pie Bars
- toasted almond pavlova with summer berries
Blackberry Pecan Bars
- 9×9 square baking pan
- parchment paper (optional)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in pieces
- 8 oz fresh blackberries
- 1/3 cup blackberry preserves
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Set oven to 375F.
- Line a 9×9 baking pan with a sling of parchment paper, edges hanging off the sides for easy removal from the pan later.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, 1/2 cup of the pecans, sugars and salt a few times to combine. Add the softened butter and pulse until the butter is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture has a large moist crumb texture. Keep pulsing until there is no dry flour left. It will be crumbly.
- Measure out about 1/2 cup of the mixture for the crumb topping and set aside. Crumble the rest into your lined pan. Spread it out and pat down the crust with your fingers. Flour them if necessary to prevent sticking. Try to get it evenly spread across the bottom of the pan. I like to finish the process with an offset spatula to flatten and smooth the surface.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
- Pulse the fresh berries and the preserves along with the cornstarch in the processor briefly to break down the fruit.
- Put the mixture in a small saucepan and heat to a boil, stirring often. Let it cook for just a minute or two until it starts to thicken. Taste and add a teaspoon of lemon juice if needed. Set aside to cool slightly while the crust finishes baking.
- Spread out the fruit evenly over the crust.
- Top with the remaining crumble mixture, and then the remaining 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
- Bake for 20 minutes more.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges and remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper sling. Let them cool completely on a rack before slicing into 16 bars.
- All kind of berries and stone fruit work well in these bars.
- Try walnuts in place of the pecans.
- You might try mixing and matching the fresh fruit with different types of jam for unusual flavors.