At the farm stand I worked at this past summer, we had jars of Amish pie filling for sale from a local farm in Illinois. I grabbed a jar of cherry filling and it sat on my kitchen counter for weeks. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to make cherry pie because I have my own way of making that from scratch and this filling wouldn’t be right. But cherry pie bars… that would work! After searching and scouring the internet on how to make them, I overwhelmingly came across the same recipe from Taste of Home. These Cherry Pie Bars are delicious and I’ll be making them over and over again.
To start, make a batter for the crust and spread it in a pan, reserving some of the dough to dollop on the top. Cover the crust with the cherry pie filling and that remaining dough, toss on some sliced almonds, and bake. Then drizzle all over with a vanilla-almond glaze. Ta da!
After I made these Cherry Pie Bars and took photos, we immediately dug in. Oh my gosh, they were so good and even better than I imagined. They are old school, to me ~ like something I would find in a neighborhood bakery back in Chicago, you know, like apple slices and such. Anyway, I brought them to the stand to share what was left and everyone loved them and wanted the recipe. Actually, they just wanted me to make more and bring them in.
This recipe is versatile enough that I wouldn’t hesitate to try it with another filling, like blackberry or blueberry. I doubt you’ll find the Amish pie filling I used, but any pie filling would work and I’m sure would be just as good ~ well, maybe not as good, but pretty close!
It’s now December and holiday baking is kicking off. With their festive color and ease of preparation, these Cherry Pie Bars would be a welcome addition to the holiday dessert table. I hope you’ll try them. And now I have to figure out how to make bakery apple slices with my jar of Amish apple pie filling.
Cherry Pie Bars
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (32-ounce) jar cherry pie filling (or close to equivalent in canned pie filling)
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly butter a 10X15X1-inch pan, line with parchment paper and lightly butter the parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix until combined.
- Place 3 cups of dough into bottom of prepared pan and spread evenly. Spread the cherry pie filling evenly over the dough. Drop the remaining dough by spoonfuls over the filling, you should have about 24 teaspoon-fulls. Sprinkle almond slices evenly over top and bake for 35 - 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients, using enough milk to reach desired consistency; drizzle over top of bars. Cut into squares and serve.
* Adapted from Taste of Home