I love all the fun, festive recipes that have been swirling around for the Fourth of July. So much, in fact, that I felt inclined to add something to the pot. These layered bars have all the elements that make up the perfect Fourth of July dessert. A white base layered with a pie like filling of fresh blueberries and raspberries, and a sweet crumb topping mixed with sliced almonds. Are you feeling the red, white, and blue theme here?
The grocery list – flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, fresh blueberries, fresh raspberries, butter, cream cheese, an egg, sliced almonds, and a lemon.
Let’s start with the white layer. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup of the sugar sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the softened butter and cream cheese, in cubes, and combine with a hand mixer.
Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Now, go grab a small mixing bowl and transfer 1 heaping cup full of the crumbly mixture to the small bowl. Set this aside for later.
Add 1 egg to the mixture in the large bowl.
Beat with a hand mixer until it begins to hold together.
Transfer the mixture to a 13″ x 9″ pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Use your hands to pat the crust down into the pan. Place it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. I didn’t take a picture of this step and I apologize profusely.
Remove the crust from the oven when it is slightly golden brown and let it cool.
While you are waiting, give the berries a rinse and allow them to drain well.
Combine the sliced almonds with the reserved flour crumb mixture.
Now we move on to the red and blue part of the recipe. After the crust has cooled for about 15 minutes, transfer the rinsed and drained berries to a mixing bowl and squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon in.
Add in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Toss lightly to mix.
Transfer the berry mixture to the partially cooled crust and spread out to cover evenly. Sprinkle the reserved crumb/almond mixture evenly over the top. Place the whole shebang back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes.
It’s time to pull it out of the oven when the crumb mixture is just slightly golden brown.
Now the hard part, let it cool for at least 2 hours before slicing into bars and serving.
The bars keep very well either in the fridge or out. Just be sure to place them in an airtight container or cover well with plastic wrap.
Happy Fourth of July! I hope you all get to enjoy the day with your loved ones, lots of delicious food, something red, white, and blue, and a sparkler or two.
Red, White and Blue Bars
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups sugar divided
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks butter softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 egg
- 2 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and drained
- 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries rinsed and drained
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter and cream cheese into 1" pieces and drop into the flour mixture. Using a hand mixer on low speed, blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer 1 cup of the mixture to a smaller bowl and set aside. Add the egg to the remaining flour mixture in the large bowl and mix on low speed until the dough begins to hold together.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared 13 x 9 pan. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 or 20 minutes.
- Add the sliced almonds to the reserved flour/crumb mixture.
- In a mixing bowl combine the blueberries and raspberries with the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch. Toss lightly to combine. Spoon the berry mixture over the slightly cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved flour/almond mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake another 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely in the pan and then cut into bars.