Dairy Free and Delicious: Homemade Berry Bars
Luscious Summer Dessert
Pastry chef and author, Paula Shoyer, makes warm weather entertaining easy and delicious.
Every great celebration is just a little sweeter with a great dessert. As summer sets in and warm weather brings us outdoors for barbecues, picnics, and concerts now is the tastiest time to reach for seasonal and sweet fresh fruit. Pastry chef, teacher and cookbook author, Paula Shoyer, has created a light and easy summer dessert perfect for anyone who loves to create something special for family and friends that’s also dairy free!
Shoyer, author of The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy, says “Summer brings occasions when you may be baking for many people and need to whip up a tasty dessert with little more notice than your neighbor saying to come on by for a last minute cook out. Summer dessert baking does not have to mean spending hours in a hot kitchen. As a busy wife and mother, I know how valuable time can be. I have created a fast and easy recipe that uses fresh seasonal summer fruits that pack and travel with ease for a picnic or party – if they last that long.”
Dairy Free Berry Bars
Makes 35 square bars
This easy recipe turns classic bar cookies into handheld, two-bite pies that can be easily packed into a picnic hamper. They hold up well; perfect for an afternoon in the sun or an evening concert.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) parve margarine, frozen for 15 minutes, plus extra for greasing pan and parchment
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with some margarine. Place a piece of parchment in the pan that is large enough to go up the sides and hang over a few inches. Grease the top and sides of the parchment.
To make the crust: Place the flour and sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for 10 seconds. Cut the margarine into pieces and add to the bowl. Process or use your hands to mix for another 10 seconds. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and then process or mix until the dough just comes together.
Divide the dough in half, making one piece a little bigger. Wrap both pieces in plastic; flatten and place the smaller one in the freezer. Take the larger piece and break it into pieces and scatter over the parchment. Press the pieces into the pan as evenly as you can. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile place the raspberries and blueberries into a large bowl and squeeze with your hands to break up the raspberries.
Add the sugar and flour and squeeze together. This part is fun, but you may still want to use plastic gloves as I did. Remove the other dough piece from the freezer and, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the remaining dough over the filling.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top starts to look golden brown. Let cool. Trim off about ¼ inch of the sides, if desired, and eat them immediately, and then cut into squares or long bars. Serve warm or cold.
Paula Shoyer is the owner of Paula’s Parisian Pastries Cooking School in the Washington, D.C., area. She teaches classes in French pastry and Jewish baking locally and across the country. She trained in Paris, receiving her pastry diploma from the Ritz Escoffier École de Gastronomie Française, and served as editor of the popular Susie Fishbein cookbooks Kosher by Design Entertains and Kosher by Design Kids in the Kitchen. Paula is the author of The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy. Paula and her delicious recipes have been featured in numerous publications and websites including The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Houston Chronicle, Dessert Professional, Today’s Diet and Nutrition, Joy of Kosher magazine, and Epicurious.com. Paula is also a freelance writer with monthly columns in Whisk Magazine and kosherscoop.com. She is also a popular guest on radio shows such as Martha Stewart Living radio, Walking on Air with Betsy and Sal, What’s Cookin’ with Mike Horn and Paul Stern on CRN Digital Talk Radio and OnTheMenuRadio.com. She has cooked up delicious desserts on WUSA TV 9’s Noon News in Washington, DC, WGN’s Lunchbreak, NBC Washington News 4 at 4 “Quick Bites” and San Diego Living. Originally from New York, this busy wife, mother, and part-time basketball coach lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband and four children and is currently working on a new cookbook.