My food blog has slowly turned into a dessert blog and I am not mad about it. Every week, I dedicate at least one day to making a new dessert. With the bountiful fruit in harvest, I can't help but think of sweets that highlight the produce. Today's attention will be turned to peaches and raspberries for wonderful peach raspberry pie bars with lemon curd filling. I tend to jam all my favorite things into one dessert and this was no exception. Peaches, raspberries, a sweet crust, and tart lemon curd come together to make one intensely delicious treat.
Peach Raspberry Pie Bars with Lemon Curd
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (185 grams)
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar (32 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cut into small chunks (113 grams)
- 2-3 tablespoon ice cold water
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar (300 grams)
- ½ cup lemon juice (125 ml)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup flour (37 grams)
- 2 tablespoon butter, cut into small chunks (27 grams)
Peach raspberry filling
- 2 cups peaches, sliced (about 2 peaches, 10 ounces)
- 1 cup raspberries (6 ounces)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch (24 grams)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- Make the crust. Combine flour with sugar, and salt. Blend in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or your hands until the mixture is the size of small peas. Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the dough starts to come together. Chill the dough for 30 minutes or until firm.
- Set aside ⅓ cup of the dough and use the remaining to create the crust. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a large square about 1/16-inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to the baking dish and press the dough into the bottom of the baking dish and up the sides to create a crust with 4 sides. Poke holes in the crust with a fork and line it with parchment paper. Place baking weights on the parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the top parchment paper with the weights and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks with granulated sugar. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour, whisking until combined. Pour the mixture into a heavy bottomed saucepot and heat over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer the curd stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Make the fruit filling. Toss together the sliced peaches with the raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Let sit for 15 minutes. Pour the lemon curd filling in the baking dish with the crust and spread the fruit filling evenly on top. Roll out the reserved dough crust to create the top crust and place it on top of the filling. Cut slits on top to allow steam to escape.
- Bake the pie bars for 40 minutes – 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice into bars and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Although you're essentially making a pie with this recipe, I like to think this version is easier. There is no pretty crust making required, just spread it and done. I decided to make the crust more like shortbread with the addition of powdered sugar in the dough. Yes, this will make the dessert more indulgent but it will be worth it.
The best way to make pie dough is with a pastry cutter or with your hands. If you are getting down and dirty and using your hands, work quickly to avoid melting the butter. I have used a food processor before but you have to be careful not to overwork the dough. Reserve some of the dough to create the top layer and use the remaining dough for the crust. Spray your baking dish with a generous amount of cooking spray and form the crust.
Make 4 "walls" with the dough to create a shell. This will help keep the lemon curd and fruit stay in place. Poke holes with a fork and line it with parchment paper, filling it with baking weights. The weights will prevent the crust from puffing up and keep the edges stay upright. Bake for 10 minutes with the weights, then remove the weights and continue to bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
While the crust is cooling, make the filling. Even though the lemon curd is going to bake in the oven, we're going to first simmer it on the stovetop to allow it to thicken. Whisk together the eggs with sugar, then add the remaining ingredients. Heat the entire mixture over low heat, stirring frequently until it thickens. It's going to be thicker than a normal curd because once you add the fruits, they will release their juices and thin out the curd.
Now it's time to make the fruit filling. You can go ahead and peel the peaches but it's fine if you leave the skin on. Toss the sliced peaches with raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch and let them sit for 15 minutes. Pour the lemon curd filling into the crust and top it with the fruit filling.
Pull out the dough you set aside and roll it out. Here you have some freedom to get creative on how you want to design the top. I chose to tear up the pie dough into small pieces to create a rustic crust. You can also just roll out the dough and place it right on top. Just make sure to cut slits in the dough to allow the steam to escape.
Pop the dessert in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown. About 45 minutes later, the pie bars are ready! The center of the pan might still jiggle but the edges should be set. Let it cool completely and slice into bars.
Peach raspberry pie bars with lemon curd filling should be mandatory at all events or just after dinner. Even if the fruits aren't in season, I'm betting that frozen peaches and raspberries will still yield a great dessert. My first peach dessert recipe is now officially a winner in my book.
For more dessert bar inspiration check out these strawberry key lime pie bars!