Blackberry Slab Pie Bars

blackberry slab pie bars, stacked

Blackberry Slab Pie Bars are a little slice of heaven ~ the flakey pastry, the jewel toned filling, and the sweet glaze all work together in this super user friendly dessert. Use frozen fruit or preserves when fresh berries aren’t available.

blackberry slab pie bars

Give me a blackberry slab pie bar over over a slice of pie any day

They’re just so much more user friendly. You can pick these bars up with your hands, tote them around with you, bring ’em on a driving trip, to work, on a plane…what pie can do all that? And these bars are just as flaky, just as fruity and juicy as any pie. Plus they’ve got that sweet glaze layered over top ~ heavenly!

a stack of blackberry slab pie bars on parchment paper

This is the perfect recipe for a pie-crust-a-phobe (like me!)

I used one of my favorite pastry doughs for these blackberry bars. It’s the dough I used in my Apricot Pie Recipe, and it’s easy to work with, super flaky, with a really lovely softness to it. It’s made with mostly butter and a little shortening which I think makes the difference. It bakes up firm enough so that you can eat these bars by hand, but still quite tender when you bit into it.

glazing and cutting blackberry slab pie bars

The dough is easy to roll and very forgiving

Just push it back together if it cracks, and dust with flour if it sticks. I like to roll it right on the parchment paper it will bake on, so there’s no tricky transfer to deal with, just slide the dough and paper right onto a baking sheet.

This kind of freeform slab pie doesn’t look like much in its whole form, it’s a little ragged, I admit. But just trim the ends a bit before slicing and no one will be the wiser.

making blackberry slab pie bars

how to make a quick blackberry filling for pie bars

These blackberry pie bars would be nothing without the fresh blackberry filling. I made a quick jammy filling by cooking down the berries on the stove with some sugar, lemon juice and thickener. Note: you can use a good blackberry jam or frozen berries to make your filling off season.

  1. Put rinsed berries in a saucepan, along with sugar, thickener, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar and allow the berries to release their juices.
  3. Mash the berries with a potato masher or fork and continue to cook for about 8 minutes, or until the consistency of a thin jam.
  4. Chill. It will thicken as it cools.
blackberries with sugar

my favorite thickener for fruit fillings

For the thickener I’ve recently discovered Instant Clearjel, which is a supercharged thickener for pies and fruit fillings. It works like cornstarch, but so much better, and it gives you an added insurance that your fillings won’t be too thin or runny. In this case you definitely want to avoid a dribbly filling!

cooking blackberries

blackberries are healthy, delicious, and stunning!

Blackberries go through a beautiful color transformation when they’re cooked with lemon juice and sugar, the deep blueish purple becomes a brilliant magenta. It’s absolutely gorgeous oozing out of the layers of pastry dough. Like black raspberries, these berries are unsung superfoods, bursting with vitamins and cancer fighting antioxidants.

blackberry filling for blackberry slab pie bars

Please do try these blackberry slab pie bars, you won’t be disappointed

The flakey pastry, the brilliant filling, and the glaze all make this one of my new favorite desserts on the blog. I’ll be reinventing it many times going forward, and I’m definitely doing an apple version for you later this year, so keep an eye out for that.

a blackberry slab pie bar on a napkin with forks

freeze summer berries so you can make this later in the year ~

  • Wash and dry your berries and lay them out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Put the whole pan in the freezer until the berries are frozen solid, about an hour.
  • Transfer the berries to a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag and put them back in the freezer. They’ll keep up to a year.
  • Use straight from frozen in pies, jams, sauces, etc.
Frozen blackberries for a frozen blackberry moscato slushie

blackberry recipes to check out before you go!

blackberry slab pie bars, stacked
Print
4.08 from 196 votes

Blackberry Slab Pie Bars

Blackberry Slab Pie Bars are a little slice of heaven ~ the flakey pastry, the jewel toned filling, and the sweet glaze all work together in this super user friendly dessert. Use frozen fruit or preserves when fresh berries aren't available.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Calories 242kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

pie crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut in pieces
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I used butter flavor Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup ice water

egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 teaspoons water

filling

  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp Instant Clearjel thickener (substitute 1 Tbsp cornstarch)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • water for thinning

Instructions

  • Start by making the crust. Pulse the flour and salt a few times in a food processor to combine. Add the cold chunks of butter and shortening to the bowl and pulse about 20 times until the mixture is grainy.
  • Add the ice water, a little at a time, while continuing to pulse, until the dough just comes together when you pinch it between your fingers. Stop the machine to check it. NOTE: you may not need all of the water, but I always do.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring it together into a ball. If there is still any remaining dry flour make sure to knead that into the dough to get it all incorporated. If your dough is too sticky, add a touch more flour.
  • Cut the ball of dough in half, form two flat rectangles, and wrap each one in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours (or overnight) before rolling it out.
  • While the dough is chilling make the filling. This step can also be made the day before if you like. Put the berries into a saucepan. Mix the sugar and Clearjel thickener together and add to pan along with the lemon juice. Starting on low and then increasing the heat to medium high, cook the berries until they start to soften and the sugar has dissolved. Mash the berries with a fork as they soften. Stir almost constantly.
  • Cook for about 8 minutes, or until it’s the consistency of a runny jam. I like to mash most of the berries. Chill the filling until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Lay out a sheet of parchment large enough for a baking sheet and lightly flour it. Roll out one of the pieces of dough to (roughly) a 9×13 rectangle. Don’t stress, if it’s close, that’s fine. It helps to let the dough rest for a few minutes to warm up slightly before trying to roll it out.
  • Spoon the jam over the top, leaving about an inch all around free.
  • Roll out the top crust, and carefully place over the jam filling, pressing down all around the edges to seal. if you’ve got excess dough you can roll it up a bit.
  • Brush with the egg wash and bake for about 40 minutes until golden. Let cool before glazing.
  • To make the glaze whisk or stir the sugar together with the water, a tablespoon at a time, until you get a glaze consistency. Brush it liberally over the top of the cooled pie. Let dry before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 328IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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59 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Elizaberh
    July 26, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    5 stars
    This was a great hit at work!

  • Reply
    Jody
    July 26, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Sue, I’d like to try this recipe for a luncheon this Thursday…I have a box of peaches from Costco (of course) My dilemma is how many peaches to the ratio of sugar..any suggestions

    Thank you so much!!
    Jody

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 26, 2021 at 7:47 pm

      Hey Jody ~ you can really go by taste, maybe start with 1/4 cup sugar and when it has dissolved, give it a taste to see if you’d like more.

  • Reply
    Nina
    July 16, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    5 stars
    Great Recipe! I used blueberries (because that’s what I could get my hands on), the crust is delicious and flaky and tender. Pie crust has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember and today….SUCCESS! Yay! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    July 16, 2021 at 10:55 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue, I love your recipes and have made many. Please don’t think I am preaching or judging here, but have you considered switching away from using Crisco in your baking? I grew up using it too, but when I understood about the negative impact on our health from hydrogenated vegetable oils, I stopped using it. I now live in the U.K. where Crisco is not available anyway but please for your sake and your family’s sake can you consider moving away from this product. If I’m looking for the ‘shortness’, ‘crispness’ in baking I use a mix of butter and lard or just lard. Lard is a natural product that had a lot of bad press from the 70’s, now proven to be untrue. I would be interested in your thoughts.

  • Reply
    Sherri
    July 16, 2021 at 9:57 am

    I LOVE your recipes and blog! Do you think fresh peaches would work? Peaches are fabulous and abundant right now. Excited to make this for my nephews bday dessert!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 16, 2021 at 11:18 am

      Peaches would definitely work, I’m planning to do that myself!

  • Reply
    Liz
    July 16, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Sue , King Arthur Instant Cleargel purchased directly from King Arthur is only $6.95 for an 8 oz. container.

  • Reply
    Nada Khirdaji
    July 16, 2021 at 8:22 am

    5 stars
    I cannot wait to try this. I have now tried more than ten of your recipes + they are PERFECTION. You have such a gift. Thank you for sharing it! xo

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 16, 2021 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for making my day Nada 🙂

  • Reply
    Teresa Arthur
    June 20, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    5 stars
    Really great recipe!! Can these be frozen once they are baked? Thanks, T

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 16, 2021 at 7:52 am

      Yes, they will freeze well, but you might want to hold off on the glaze until you thaw them.

  • Reply
    Chef Potpie
    June 17, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    5 stars
    Your food blog is my favorite one. I should start leaving reviews more often, as I have always been impressed with your recipes! This recipe is fabulous! And your crust is the same as my Gram’s pie crust. Cutting off those edges and hoarding them for myself was beyond my dreams. (Bring the glaze all the way over the sides, for you other “crusties!”) Hubs is all about the fruit, which I love also, but I am ALL about crust. It’s like the nursery rhyme…”He could eat no fat and she could eat no lean.” Well, we picked this platter clean! I will be making this lovely free-form slab pie all summer long with my own fresh raspberries and with blackberries I can pick at my daughter’s house! 5 stars all day and every day for this wonderful recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 16, 2021 at 7:53 am

      Thank you, the good reviews really help my site grow!

  • Reply
    Paulette
    June 14, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    5 stars
    Hi could I do this with recipe with bought puff pastry???Paulette

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 15, 2021 at 3:56 am

      I think puff pastry would ‘puff’ too much, since you’d be using it for the bottom and top of these bars, but you could try!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    October 15, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    5 stars
    These are great. They remind me of pop tarts.

  • Reply
    Jeffrey
    August 29, 2020 at 8:21 am

    5 stars
    Stunning recipe! My mouth is watering thinking about how good these bars are… errr, were! lol

    I’m making another batch today!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 20, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    If I use frozen berries, should I let them thaw first?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 20, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      Good question. If they’re small berries, you can use them frozen, but if they’re larger, you might do better to thaw and possibly cook them down to evaporate some of the moisture.

  • Reply
    Aleez
    August 13, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Do you buy your blackberries at the store? Mine come from my own blackberry patch and are very seedy- what do you suggest for making the filling less seedy other than just crushing them in a food mill to extract the seeds?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 13, 2020 at 5:31 am

      I would push the filling through a mesh strainer, maybe?

  • Reply
    Pat
    July 11, 2020 at 7:50 am

    4 stars
    I made the dough and filling last night, and am just waiting for the dough to soften up a bit before rolling. But I see in the instructions to brush on an egg wash, but I don’t see this in the ingredients. First time making pie crust, can you elaborate? Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 11, 2020 at 9:08 am

      Hi Pat, I added the egg wash to the recipe, it’s basically an egg yolk (you can also use a whole egg) whisked with a bit of water or milk to make a light glaze.

  • Reply
    Anna
    July 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is so good, my family loved it. The crust so good and crunchy, easy to follow and make. Esta receta es muy deliciosa, a my familia le encantó. Muy fácil de hacer. Especialmente el pan.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 9, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you Anna 🙂

  • Reply
    Dennis
    June 18, 2020 at 7:01 am

    If I have a 9×13 baking sheet (which I do), could I also assemble and bake that way?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 18, 2020 at 7:29 am

      Yes, you can do that.

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 11, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    5 stars
    These look incredible, I think I’m going to make them for when my friends come over. Are these something I could make a few days ahead and refrigerate? or do you think they’re best made the day before or day of? Thank you for posting this recipe and the beautiful pictures. I’m really excited to try this!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 11, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      Hey Julie ~ these will definitely be best the fresher they are, but they’ll keep for a day or so if you need to make them ahead. You can glaze them the day you want to serve them, if that’s possible.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    May 23, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    5 stars
    Does the crust part of the recipe make a “double” crust? I had 1 pie crust in my freezer so I used that, but it didn’t seem to be enough crust for two 9”x13” sheets. It is cooling now and I can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      Yes, it’s a recipe for a double crust.

      • Reply
        Pat
        June 18, 2021 at 7:39 am

        Hi, you called the filling, jam. I was wondering if i could substitute sugar free jam for the filling? Thanks, i will probably use sugar substitute.

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          June 18, 2021 at 7:45 am

          That will work Pat, just make sure your jam has a thick consistency.

  • Reply
    Erin Mader
    May 18, 2020 at 7:57 am

    5 stars
    I made this recipe this weekend and it came out amazing! I used premade pie crust since I don’t have a food processor. Everyone loved them! I would definitely make it again! Thanks so much for a great and easy recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 18, 2020 at 8:10 am

      You make me want to bake these again right now Erin 🙂

  • Reply
    Wade Stembridge
    May 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    5 stars
    These look so good! I can’t wait to try them this weekend!

  • Reply
    Georgia
    April 6, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is yummy yummy! The crust is amazing and pretty easy too! I made the filling one day, then made crust the next. When I was ready to put it all together, I just let the dough get to room temp before rolling out, worked perfectly. This is going to be a totally ridiculous question but can these bars be frozen or will that make the crust soggy.

  • Reply
    Rita
    April 5, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I used a frozen berry mix, which was delicious. Mine leaked a little, though. I think my berry mix was still too hot when I poured it on the crust. I’ll be sure to let it cool next time. I used the second half of my lemon as the liquid to make the glaze…really good! Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks Rita ~ frozen berries can be really wet sometimes, too.

  • Reply
    Marie
    April 3, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Hello! Looks so yummy! Any tips and recipe changes to make it gluten free? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      I would look up a reliable gluten free pie crust recipe and use that Marie.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    April 2, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Can I use pillsbury pie crust for this? Or a box pie crust?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 2, 2020 at 11:24 am

      You could, I’m sure, but just be aware that it won’t be as good 😉

  • Reply
    Merrymepenelope
    April 1, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    5 stars
    Fantastic little dessert! We used frozen blueberries and cherries (pulsed in the food processor) for the filling and these little bars came out lovely. In place of the glaze, we did a quick dusting of powdered sugar on top and that did the trick. Pretty and delicious! I could imagine adding cinnamon to the powdered sugar topping and serving with a little scoop of french vanilla or salted caramel ice cream. We’ll be using this recipe again and again! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 1, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Ooooh that scoop of caramel ice cream sounds pretty good right now 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  • Reply
    Kelley Odom
    March 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Could you use raspberries instead of blackberries?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm

      Yes, that would be delicious.

      • Reply
        Diane
        May 29, 2020 at 11:43 am

        5 stars
        Hi

  • Reply
    Nicole
    March 29, 2020 at 11:37 am

    If I use premade jam, how much should I use?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 29, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      You’ll have to use your judgement, and the photos as your guide. You’ll want a fairly thick layer on top of the dough.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    January 30, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Can you strain the seeds out of the berry mixture?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 31, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Debbie ~ yes, you should be able to push the filling through a fine mesh strainer to get the seeds out! I’d do this while the mixture is still warm as it will thicken up and get harder to strain as it cools.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 29, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Yes, definitely.

  • Reply
    Martha in KS
    September 7, 2019 at 5:23 am

    I used to freeze blueberries using this method until I brought home a bunch of berries & didn’t have time to do it. So I stuck the plastic containers of berries right into the freezer. A few days later I dumped them into plastic bags. When I need them I rinse & use. Now that’s how I always freeze them. No need for the pre-freezer prep!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 7, 2019 at 8:30 am

      Good to know! I would think if the berries were dry with no moisture this would work fine.

  • Reply
    Tricia B.
    August 30, 2019 at 4:35 am

    5 stars
    I LOVE this freeform slab pie! And that filling is fantastic. We’re all about fresh fruit desserts and I can’t wait to give this a try. Looking forward to the apple version too! Pinned

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 30, 2019 at 6:02 am

      Thanks Tricia, I’m looking forward to the apple version too!

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