Strawberries and cream were made for each other and after one bite of these Strawberry Cream Pie Bars, you’ll know what I’m talking about. A buttery, brown sugar, whole wheat crust provides a delicious base for sweet, sun-ripened strawberries nestled in a cool creamy filling that all together makes for one fantastic summer treat.
Of course, a great dessert requires great ingredients, so grab your bags of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour and Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour. These Strawberry Cream Pie Bars, and just about any dessert that calls for a pressed in crust and crumb topping, are perfect recipes to add in some healthy whole grains. The whole wheat gives the crust more flavor, the topping extra crunch, and goes largely undetected by even the pickiest eaters. Give my Lemon Crumb Bars a try after you make this recipe and you’ll see what I mean.
To get this dessert started, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Then pour in the melted butter.
And mix everything together with a spoon or fork until the butter is completely incorporated. The dough will be crumbly.
Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the dough and press the remaining dough into the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan that’s been lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Be sure to leave some of the foil hanging over the sides of the pan; we’ll need those to lift the bars out when they’re ready to serve. Set aside.
Because I had such lovely, sweet, red, ripe strawberries just begging to be turned into something delicious, I made my own strawberry pie filling for this recipe - which is very easy to do. If you don’t have fresh strawberries to work with or need a quicker route to putting this dessert together, you can easily substitute store-bought strawberry pie filling.
To make your own filling, begin by lightly crushing the strawberries with a fork or potato masher in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes and then strain the juice from the cooked strawberries. Add additional water to make a full cup of juice if necessary. Discard the cooked strawberries and set the juice aside.
In comes Hodgson Mill Corn Starch. It’s going to make the strawberry juice thick and glossy – perfect for our homemade strawberry pie filling.
Put the sugar, cornstarch and salt into the same pan you used for the strawberry juice. Slowly add the strawberry juice back into the pan and stir until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and keep stirring until clear and thick, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the rest of the strawberries. Set aside to cool.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the sour cream, sugar, egg yolks, flour, vanilla and lemon zest. Pour the mixture on the crust and spread evenly over the top.
Next, use 1 ½ cups of the strawberry pie filling and drop dollops of it over the sour cream mixture and gently swirl together with a butter knife. If making the filling yourself, as I did, you’ll have about a cup leftover to use as an ice cream topping, swirl into yogurt or eat by the spoonful from the refrigerator.
Sprinkle the reserved dough from the crust over the top of the strawberries and cream mixture. Bake in a 375oF oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the baked bars from the oven and cool completely in the pan. Put the cooled pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Waiting will be very hard to do, but definitely worth it. These bars taste best chilled.
Once chilled, remove the bars from the pan by lifting up on the overhanging foil. Place bars onto a cutting board and peel back the foil. Cut into squares and serve.
These Strawberry and Cream Pie Bars are bound to be one of your new favorite desserts. The combination of bright, flavorful strawberries surrounded by a creamy middle all wrapped up in a buttery brown sugar crust is one that will have you licking your lips and looking for another piece. I love how easy these bars are to put together and that they’re a delicious way to get more whole grains onto our plates. If ever there was a way to get my family to eat more whole grains, putting them into a dessert has always been the key to success.
Make sure to add these Strawberry and Cream Pie Bars to your summer baking list. And don’t forget to invite your family and friends over to join you for dessert. These tasty treats make plenty to share. Enjoy!
Whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the melted butter and stir with a spoon or fork until the butter is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the dough and press the remaining dough into the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, flour, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest. Pour the mixture onto the crust and spread evenly over the top. Spoon the pie filling over the sour cream mixture and gently swirl together with a butter knife. Sprinkle the reserved 1 ¼ cups of dough over the top and bake in a 375oF oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and then refrigerate for two hours before serving. Remove chilled bars from the pan by lifting up on the foil and removing to a cutting board. Peel back foil, cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve. Store bars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes approximately 20 bars
Strawberry Pie Filling
Adapted from Cooks.com
4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
3 Tablespoons Hodgson Mill Corn Starch
¼ teaspoon salt
Crush 1 cup of strawberries and place in a medium-sized saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer three minutes. Strain the juice from the cooked strawberries, adding water if necessary to make a full cup of juice. Discard cooked strawberries. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in the same saucepan. Slowly add strawberry juice and stir until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until clear and thick, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for five minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in remaining strawberries. Filling can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Makes approximately 3 cups of strawberry pie filling