I really wanted to go to Remlinger Farms on a sunny day and pick raspberries. I even enlisted the help of some 9 year old girls to come with me, like Tom Sawyer getting his friends to help him paint the fence...."C'mon it'll be fun! Work? Naw, it's not work! You'll love it!" But the sun never shined...so I drove myself to the store, purchased berries from the sunny side of the state and made these wonderful bars.
Like some lemon bars, these have a rich, shortbread crust as the base and once it's baked and cooled briefly, seedless raspberry jam is spread over the top, then fresh berries are added and smothered with a custard filling, made with cream cheese ...this recipe just screamed at me and I'm screaming at you...MAKE THIS!
If I tell you this is a Better Homes and Gardens recipe then you'll know it's tested, tried and true...but if I tell you the calorie content of each bar (209) then you won't want to make them because ONE bar is not enough, you'll need to eat 3 or 7 and then you're into double digits and instead of being able to lounge about licking your fingers, you'll be slugging your sorry arse over hill and dale to avoid slipping into a coma where you'll just dream about these bars! Warning: Eat at your own risk!
Fresh Raspberry Bars - Adapted From Better Homes and Gardens, Scott Peacock, May 2011
(Lest you think I'm a fool to try to adapt a Better Homes and Gardens recipe, after all, BHG is right up there with Betty Crocker and Julia Child, my adaptations were as follows: I used salted butter instead of unsalted, regular salt instead of kosher, and instead of 4 oz. of cream cheese and 4 oz. of goat cheese, as the recipe called for, I used 8 oz. of cream cheese...and I made these changes because that's what I had in my pantry!)
1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
softened butter for brushing sides of foil
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves
1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil extending over ends (to make it easy to lift the bars out of the pan); set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and salt, beat on low speed until incorporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With mixer off, add the 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed until flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium, mix until ingredients form an even, cohesive dough. Break down into small chunks and distribute in prepared pan; with your fingers press dough into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff and is just set. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
Lightly brush exposed sides of foil with softened butter to keep filling from sticking. Spread jam evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with raspberries.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Mix in granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour custard batter evenly over berries and distribute evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until barely set. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool, about 1 hour; cover and transfer to refrigerator. Chill 2 hours. Top will crack as it cools, don't be alarmed! Use foil to lift the bars from pan. With a knife or metal spatula, support the side of the bars while you gently peel the foil downward and away from sides of bars.
The only thing better than fresh raspberries is one of these Fresh Raspberry Bars...5 dangs for sure!