Monday, September 21, 2015

Blackberry Squares

This time of year we have an
abundance of blackberries,
so I wanted to share with you
one of my favorite treats.

I am always looking for ways to
use up the bounty and this recipe
is perfect, as it makes a large
batch and freezes very well.

We have several kinds of blackberries
here in Washington State, including
Himalayan blackberry with its
long and invasive canes (up to 30 ft!),
and my preference, the Evergreen blackberry
that is equally large, with vicious thorns,
but which has firmer and sweeter fruit.

I have 'tamed' these along a wire fence
and I always walk around with purple
lips and stained fingers at this time of year!

This recipe was given
to my Mother by a neighbor
who was Pennsylvania Dutch.

It is the most forgiving and easy pastry
to work with and doesn't even
need chilling to hold together.

I used King Arthur All-Purpose Flour,
as it is superior for pastry dough,
in my opinion.

It costs a little more, but it
is worth every penny for the
delicious flavor and flakiness
of the pastry.

My vintage rolling pin is perfect for
rolling out large sheets, as it is
wider than a regular rolling pin.

Use ample amounts of flour when
rolling, and a flat spatula to
loosen up the pastry from the
board when done rolling.

This recipe will just fit a 12x17 pan,
but you can use a smaller one
to ensure a good fit.

While preparing the pastry,
let the blackberry mixture sit
in the pan unheated for 15 minutes
to allow the tapioca
to soften and gel.

You can use frozen berries, but let these
thaw overnight in the refrigerator
or at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Or you can thaw in the microwave :)

Cook on medium heat until bubbling
and thickened with frequent stirring.

Continue boiling for 2-3 minutes.

After cooling to room temperature,
spread evenly onto bottom crust
in jelly roll pan.

Always lick the spoon! :)

Cover with pastry and trim to fit.
No need to seal the edges, just
press edges gently all around.

Use the trimmings to patch any open areas :)

Use a knife to make steam vents
to prevent bubbling over.

Bake in center of oven.

Glaze while hot.

Cool completely before cutting
into squares.

I challenge you to eat just one.

A reward for a busy morning.

A perfect treat on a cool fall day!

Sweet and tart with melt in your mouth
glazed pastry.

Happy Fall, Dear Friends!


Here is the recipe:

Blackberry Squares


2 cups solid vegetable shortening
(I used Crisco)
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
5 cups flour

Combine shortening, flour and salt using pastry blender.
Add milk to form large ball.
Roll 1/2 dough to fit a jelly roll pan.

4 cups blackberries
2 tbsp minute tapioca
1 cup sugar

Mix together in medium sized saucepan.
Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Cook filling over medium heat
until bubbling, stirring frequently.
Boil 2-3 minutes until thickened.
Let cool.
Pour over pastry in jelly roll pan,
distributing evenly.

Cover with 2nd half of pastry,
rolled to fit.
Gently pinch edges and cut vent slits
over all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
until bubbling and crust is golden.

(While hot)

1 cup confectioner's sugar
mixed with
3 tbsp milk

Drizzle over all.

Cool completely before cutting into squares.

You can substitute 2 large cans crushed pineapple
(20 oz) instead of blackberries if you like.

These freeze beautifully.
My method is to place in a single layer
on a paper plate and slip into a gallon
sized zip-lock freezer bag.
Once frozen they can be stacked neatly.



Today I am linking with:

Julie's Lifestyle - Cooking and Crafting with J&J
The Enchanting Rose - Roses of Inspiration

Cooking and Crafting with J & J Link Up

Won't you join the fun? 


  1. These look so good! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  2. They do look rather tasty. I would never have thought to use tapioca in that way, I suppose it helps to thicken the mixture. You will have to eat mine for me. :-)

  3. Dear Karen,

    The blackberry squares look delicious and thank you for sharing the recipe with us.
    Will have to write this down and make them when blackberries are around here.
    Thanks for the kind note you left on my blog, was reading on my ipad and was about to moderate the comment and I accidentally pushed the delete button, so sorry about that.
    Enjoy the week

  4. I think the word YUM, says it all!!

  5. "Always lick the spoon." Words of wisdom, my friend {{smiles}} Wow, these bars look incredible! Can I come over for a little visit?

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful and tasty treats with Roses of Inspiration. Love and hugs to you!

  6. Your blackberry vines are glorious, Karen!! Oh my, do I ever love blackberries and have some every morning, along with raspberries and strawberries. Only, sadly, I have to buy mine! Your yummy squares are calling my name and I sure wish I could share one or two with you in your pretty kitchen!

  7. It's times like this, I would love to be your neighbor...We could go for one of your long rides and come back to these blackberry pastries and some tea. So fun....Thanks for the recipe. I do think I am going to try these as they really sound and look delicious...

  8. Hi dear friend ,, que rico ese dulce de mora ,, una rica receta ,, que tenga una feliz comienza semana

  9. Those look absolutely fantastic! I used to pick blackberries with my mom. They had an abundance of them on their property, back into the woods. It was wonderful, and there were enough to freeze as well. This makes me hungry!

  10. Hi Karen,
    Wow your blueberry squares look so amazing and yummy.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    I hope you have a nice week.
    Julie xo

  11. I'll eat just for breakfast, lunch, and after dinner desert. These look delicious!!!

  12. They look delicious! We don't have blackberries, but I am going to see if any you-pick places have them. We just got back from our trip, but I read your post about birds and I really enjoyed it!

  13. Dear Karen, you make me feel hungry in the early morning, my friend! I love blakcberries and your Squares look so delicious! Thank you for the recipe and the beuatiful pictures! I guess, I will try them with my blackberries too :O)
    Wishing you a wonderful week, my dear friend, sending Love and hugs and blessings,
    Claudia xo

  14. It looks so good!
    I love your recipe!
    Thanks for sharing

  15. Oh my word, that looks so good. Wish I had some blackberries. I do love the wild kind that I used to pick in Alabama. They are small and sweet. So nice.

  16. Hello, oh my your blackberry squares look yummy. I wish I could try one now with my coffee. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

  17. I enjoyed visiting your kitchen again. So inviting and home-y. Your blackberry squares look like a perfect companion to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. A lovely way to use your abundance of blackberries.

    Wishing you a beautiful autumn day....

  18. Hello Karen, thank you for sharing such a special family recipe. These bars look delicious. I will have to try King Arthur flour in my baking. I miss the blackberries from home. It was always a fun time to go out and find them and pick some fresh off the vines. Maybe I can used some jam I already have in the pantry for the filling. I hope you week is off to a wonderful start. Take care, Pat xx

  19. It's me again, sorry but I see that I commented under my other profile. It should read "Lilly's Mom"....

  20. Lovely! I have so much blackberries so every recepi I must try, thank you for sharing it with us!
    Great pictures too from a lovely home...
    Have a happy week, take care!

  21. Oh oh oh you are a blessing surrounded with heaven. One of my dreams is cooking with what i have in the garden. You explained here so good about cooking it and make want to try. Yum!!
    Thanks for sharing mrs. Karen :)

  22. Oh my they do look good, like they would just melt in your mouth!!

  23. Do they look so good!!! Until recently I had blackberries right off the tree and they were so good!!! Thank you for sharing this with us!!!

    Your stove is to die for!!!

  24. I don't even know yet where I am going to get blackberries but I want to try this so much. My kind of sweet! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

  25. yummy so yummy.. so wonderful to have your own berries..

  26. Hello Karen. My heaven's, why have I not found your lovely blog before now. It is so charming, so homey. I'll enjoy taking a look around. Deb (Ontario, Canada)

  27. Dearest Karen,
    Your photos look at least like this is a very yummy late summer treat! Wow, what a bountiful harvest of blackberries you got; never mind the thorns.
    Love the phrase; lick your spoon...
    Enjoy this time of the year.

  28. Mmmmmmmmm!! So very delicious!!!! Just right for autumn too! xx

  29. ooh thank you for sharing I am hoping to go foraging this week end for blackberries, I usually make jam and a crumble, but will be sure to give this a go this year! Thanks again, first visit here but I will be back .

  30. Your blackberry squares look delicious Karen! One of the advantages of cooler weather is that we can spend more time in the kitchen. I always look forward to that.

    Enjoy the rest of the week!

    Madelief x

  31. Your blackberry squares look amazing, Karen. Blackberries and blueberries are expensive at the store, and I smiled when I saw your bush of blackberries because you can go out there and pick them anytime you want! : ) These look so good, and I bet the glaze poured over on top makes them even better. These certainly would be nice with a hot cup of tea or coffee.


  32. Hi Karen, that sounds like an awesome recipe and the blackberry squares look sooo... delicious! I often think that heirloom recipes are the best!
    Love the photo of the white trunk with the green hydrangeas in front of your sofa. Who wouldn't like to plop down there!
    Warm regards and wishing you wonderful autumn days!

  33. Wow - these look incredible Karen! I think blackberry has to be one of the BEST berries around!! I am definitely going to try this recipe! Yum!!

    Your kitchen always looks so pretty and cozy. I just want to snuggle there with my mug 'o tea and take in that beautiful view. ::sigh::

    Fun to pretend from afar. :)
    Thanks for sharing and blessings to you!! xoxo

  34. What a great feeling to fill the house with seasonal smells and delicacies! And your house is so warm and inviting Karen! No doubt, those squares are scrumptious! Enjoy the season, I personally adore Fall.Thank you dearest friend for leaving such thoughtful and sweet words, they speak to my heart.

  35. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe! We also have lots of wild blackberries in the mountains around our cabin, so will definitely try this out! Always love the cozy appearance of your home! Hope you have a dozen grandchildren to enjoy it!

  36. Those Blackberry treats do look delicious! I am in love with your beautiful kitchen....especially that gorgeous stove of yours. Your sofa laden with those pretty cushions looks like the perfect place to enjoy a cuppa and one (or two) of your blackberry squares!

  37. Karen, oh my, those look so delicious and easy to make. We've no blackberries this year but maybe next year. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  38. Your pictures (and home) are stunning! This looks like a wonderful treat!

  39. These look delicious!!! I am visiting from Roses of Inspiration... and I know I can not eat just one :)

  40. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on my blueberry muffins post.. These blackberry squares look so delicious. I have new blackberry plants growing and should have some next year. I will definitely make this recipe. I'm your newest follower. You have a great blog.

  41. Hello Karen

    Congrats on being featured on Stephanie's Roses of Inspiration this week!
    I fell in love with the gorgeous photo she showed from your post on Blackerry Squares.
    I've copied and saved the recipe to use when the blackberries arrive in our Autumn next year!

    Your table setting is inspiring - LOVE hydrangeas in any colours and the table runner is so pretty.
    Cakes always look more inviting when sitting on a cake stand covered by a glass cloche - don't you think?

    I have wonderful memories of blackberrying along the roadside with my cousins when I was young. However most farmers now kill the 'weeds' bordering their properties so there are very few accessible blackberry bushes to be found these days.... sadly.
    I now buy mine from the supermarket - not at all exciting and they don't taste as good either.

    The mix of cushions on your couch is so pretty and I also love the bowl of hydrangeas sitting on a re-purposed cupboard door - you are very clever with the details Karen.

    Wishing you a happy weekend
    Shane xox


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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