These cherry pie bars are filled with cherryrific pie filling layered in a no-roll, cookie pie crust. Perfect for parties as you can hold a drink in one hand and a cherry pie bar in the other!
Okay no, hell did not freeze over nor did yours truly hit her head. No I wasn’t abducted by aliens or is someone impersonating me. It’s me, Lori… for real. Yes I posted yet another cherry recipe. I know what you’re all thinking…’but you hate cherries Lori. Like to the point you call them Demon Seeds from the gates of hell!’. And you’re completely right. I hate those things BUT that doesn’t mean you guys do. I mean it’s okay if you’re a weirdo and like them. lol love you ♥ It’s just I realized that by not sharing cherry recipes that my family loves is well, unfair to the world. You all should be able to share in the deliciousness even though yours truly wont.
Am I harsh on cherries? Nope. LOL I hate ’em and that sucks as they look so good. I mean this dessert, honestly, looks freaking amazing! And yes, for the record I did try it. I kinda have to. I can’t publish something without ever trying it; that is just well, rude and misleading. What I will tell you is that everyone that has tried this through out the years, LOVES IT! Like to the point it’s almost obsessive. But hey, in the world of chefdom, that’s a huge compliment!
These types of pie bars recipes have been in my family for generations (i.e., multi-generations peeps). They are faster to make than a traditional pie as there is no rolling involved. These area also portable which meant they were perfect for picnics, cookouts and lunches. These bars were a huge hit with my dad at the mill.
Growing up, my Dad worked in the steel mill here in Pittsburgh. It was hard, but honest, work. I can remember sitting on our front porch waiting, what seemed like forever, for him to drive down our driveway. I’d see the cloud of dust kick up as he’d pull in at the top of the hill and follow the car as he finally pulled in down by the spring house.
Yes, we had a spring house. Our house was fed by natural springs and because we lived so far back in the woods we didn’t have public water or sewer. And no well either so in the bone-dry months of summer, we’d ration water. He’d get out of the car, covered in dirt and grime where pretty much the only clean part on him were the outlines of his eyes where his safety goggles sat.
He’d walk up the sidewalk kind of slow, beaten from work with his metal lunch box hanging down by his side. I’d run as fast as my chubby little legs would take me just so I could give him the biggest hug. His worn, exhausted face would liven up and he’d smile. Those ocean blue eyes of his would just twinkle. Later that night, while he was putzing around the house Mom would pack his lunch box and I got to help. I’d pretend I was a waitress and go take his order using the prettiest of papers I had and the most awesomest of pens ever (like it had 4 different colors you could choose from!).
Once I got his order I’d go back and give it to mom. She’d smile and tell me what my job was. She’d make the sandwiches and I’d get the snacks. Always, always, Mom put in a dessert or two as that was one thing Mom never skimped on for Dad. Mom tried putting cut slices of regular pie but it just got all messy and it was hard to eat. Most slices of traditional pie you can’t really hold in your hand.
So she went back to her roots and starting making pie bars (or slab pies as they are traditionally known). Mom made her in a large sheet pan as there were 8 of us in the house plus a ton of drop-in folks. And Mom’s number one house rule “Always have enough for everyone, plus 1!”
Before not too long Dad would ask Mom for a few extra pieces in his lunch, not for him but for his buddies in the mill. Soon enough folks started asking Dad for whole pans of them. It was a nice little income for Mom for doing something she just loved. It brought a smile to her face and such a sense of pride when someone complimented her food or asked for another helping.
That’s how I am with you guys. When I read your comments on one of my recipes and that you tell me your picky 7 year old wouldn’t stop eating one of my dishes you made, it’s such a sense of pride and accomplishment.
With these pie bars you honestly can use pretty much any type of pie filling. My favorite is peach with a bourbon butter glaze on top. I’ve not tried freezing these as they don’t last long enough in my house to freeze. I’m thinking they would freeze but you’d most likely have to bake the bottom crust first, let it cool completely then add the filling and topping (sans sugar). Flash freeze (place unwrapped in a freezer til frozen) then wrap tightly. I’ll give it a shot next time I make these and let you know how it turns out.
So with all of the pie fillings options out there, what flavor will you make?
Shortbread Pie Crust
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 XL egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 3 Tbl cream
- 4-5 cups Cherry Pie Fillilng
- Preheat oven to 350 F, rack in the middle. Line an 8×8” pan with parchment leaving a 1” overhang. Set aside.
- In a bowl, stir flour, baking soda, salt and sugar together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, almond extract, cream and butter.
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour and mix until the well moistened (like wet sand). Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
- Grab the pan, lightly spray and press remaining crust mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
- Remove the crust from the oven and spread the cherry pie filling evenly over the crust.
- Take the reserved crust topping and drop pieces over the pie filling. Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the whole thing. Next sprinkle the coarse sanding sugar on top and put the pan back in the oven. topping over top and pop it back in the oven.
- Bake for 22-27 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. ~2 hours
- Once completely cooled, grab the parchment overhang and pull the cherry pie bar out of the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut the pie into 16 slices.
- Store in an airtight container.
Things I used to make this:
Every baker must have this in their pantry! Coarse White Sanding Sugar! It’s the secret to getting that diamond sparkle effect and crunch!
USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan, 8 inch, Nonstick and it ROCKS!!!