These decadent blackberry custard bars have a buttery shortbread crust and a silky custard filling studded with sweet blackberries. From the cookbook, Decadent Fruit Desserts by Jackie Bruchez.
I know spring is here because the days are starting to get longer and my allergies are in full swing. Despite my red eyes and sneezes, I adore this time of the year and love spending more time outdoors.
Spring isn’t just about the warm weather or pretty flowers. I love spring even more because my favorite fruits and vegetables are in season. And fresh fruits means, my favorite, fruit desserts!
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Why you should try this recipe
As you know, I live in San Diego. And here in San Diego, there are a slew of food bloggers that I have become friends with over the years. One of those special people, is Jackie Bruchez from The Seaside Baker.
Jackie is a talented baker and photographer. She has been tantalizing me with sweet creations for many years. And when I heard about her cookbook, Decadent Fruit Desserts, she captured my heart before I saw a single photograph or recipe.
I have tried two of her ice cream recipes, Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream and Raspberry Apricot Mascarpone Ice Cream, because I was able to help her with some recipe testing before she turned in her manuscript. INCREDIBLE!
Since I already tried Jackie’s ice cream recipes, I was eager to try out more of her delicious recipes. Every time I pondered what to make first, I always went back to these blackberry custard bars. They looked and sounded incredible.
The base of the bar is a buttery shortbread that you bake first. Then you drop in the blackberries and pour in the silky custard batter. The bars are super easy to make and assemble.
Having never made or eaten a custard bar, I truly was excited to see how they turned out. They were fabulous! The custard was silky smooth and I loved biting into the juicy and sweet blackberries.
The shortbread crust was buttery and incredible. And together, these bars were unique and a real show stopper. Would I make them again? Heck yeah! And next time I think I might add some lemon or lime zest to the custard.
Ingredients you need
- Blackberries: This particular recipes features blackberries. So choose sweet fresh blackberries and avoid the sour ones. You could also use raspberries or blueberries. Avoid using frozen as they will turn to mush when they thaw and ruin the custard bars.
- Pantry staples: all purpose flour, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and salt.
- Kitchen staples: butter, whole milk and eggs.
Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish and line with parchment paper.
1. For the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl with melted butter. Press this dough into a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until edges turn golden.
2. Scatter blackberries over the slightly cooled crust.
3. To make the custard, combine melted butter, milk, eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla extract. Mix with an electric mixer until completely smooth. Pour the custard batter over the berries.
4. Bake until custard is set about 30 minutes. Cool completely then refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting bars. Top with powdered sugar, if desired.
Recipe tips and FAQs
These really are a wonderful treat to share with friends and family. Not a cheesecake bar, not a chocolatey brownie. Just a wonderful fluffy custard bar on a buttery shortbread crust studded with deliciously sweet blackberries.
I enjoyed these beauties with my morning tea because well, if you can enjoy pancakes for breakfast, you certainly can have these bars in the morning, too!
They might scream summer, but you can also enjoy these all year long. Just be sure that the berries you are using are sweet.
Although blackberries were used for these custard bars, you can definitely use other berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, too. I bet they would be just as delicious with chopped peaches or apricots, as well.
Once the bars are cut, I wrapped them in foil and kept them in the fridge. I was still enjoying them 3 days later, as I hid them in the back of the fridge so no one else could touch them. If you don’t anyone to take your blackberry custard bars from you, be sure to NOT store them in a clear container.
For these custard bars, fresh fruit is best. Frozen fruit because mushy when thawed and the texture and excess water will affect the custard being baked.
- 3 cups all purpose flour (divided)
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar (divided)
- ¾ teaspoon salt (divided)
- 1 ½ cup melted unsalted butter (divided)
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup sifted powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and line with parchment paper.
- For the crust, mix together 2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour in 1 cup melted butter and mix with a fork until small pea-sized lumps form.
- Press the dough into the bottom and sides of prepared dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until edges turn golden.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- To make the custard, add to same medium sized bowl ½ cup melted butter, milk, eggs, ¾ cup sugar, 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt and vanilla extract and mix with an electric mixer until completely smooth.
- Scatter blackberries over the slightly cooled crust.
- Pour the custard batter over the berries.
- Bake until custard is set about 32-35 minutes. Cool completely then refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting bars.
- Top with powdered sugar, if desired.
You can also use raspberries or strawberries, too.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 8g
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Disclosure: I was given a copy of the cookbook, Decadent Fruit Desserts, to review from the publisher. The story I have written is all true, and the opinions expressed are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it!