The Joy of Berries

There are some days when things just don't feel right, when nothing seems to be going my way.  These are the days when I find myself in the kitchen scheming of a way to turn the day around.  Cooking and baking is my therapy, my way of keeping sane.  Today is a therapy day.

For a cure to today's pseudo-Monday blues is a single, or maybe a double, dose of the most delectable fruits ever...BERRIES.  Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, in any combination can make a bad day good.  So simple and yet so amazingly enjoyable!

I came across a new favorite blog, Joy the Baker, and found this berry themed prescription for my bad day.

adapted from: Joy the Baker

Crust and Topping
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • zest of two lemons
Berry Filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2  (16-ounce) packages frozen mixed berries, defrosted and drained or 6 cups fresh berries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust and topping-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a half sheet baking pan (12×17-inch) with butter or cooking spray and set aside.  A 9 x 13 in pan can be used, your bars will be a tad bit thicker.   Zest the two lemons.  Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface.  Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with the back of a spoon.  This will give the sugar a nice lemon-y scent.

Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until the mixture looks crumbly.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping.   Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is a light golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the filling-
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt.  Gently fold in the berries.  Pour the mixture evenly over the crust.
To the reserved crust mixture add cinnamon to taste if  you like.  Sprinkle evenly over the filling and bake for 45-55 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.  Cool for about an hour before slicing.

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