Blueberry, Peach, & Crème Fraîche Pie Bars
with Almond Streusel

Blueberry, Peach, & Crème Fraîche Pie Bars with Almond Streusel

Please.
Look.
Away.
Do not judge these poor bars by their pictures here. I have done terrible things to them.
Those sad, melty looking tops……they were crumbly once. Not long ago. But then I put them in the fridge so I could save them for photos. And when I took them out, they looked less crumbly and delicious than they did on Day One. So I decided to stick them in the oven, because I thought that would help. Not sure why, because it didn’t. Like DID NOT AT ALL. Now they’re weird and melty looking, and I feel as though I’ve dishonored my pie bars. Because they are ridiculously delicious. You can probably tell by all those words in the title, right? Well there’s basil in there too. And the crème fraîche is made with Madagascar vanilla. Yeah, I didn’t eat that right off a spoon or anything. So let’s look past the not-so-crumbly tops and imagine just how good they are. Because they are THAT GOOD. Better, even.

Blueberry, Peach, & Crème Fraîche Pie Bars with Almond Streusel

When Linda made these bars back in the spring, I knew knew knew I had to make a blueberry variation once they were in season. The flavor of blueberry pie is possibly my absolute favorite, but I’m one of those people that always wants more crust and less filling. Pie bars seemed to be the solution to this problem. Also, they don’t require a plate or a fork, and that’s a WIN in my book.

After picking up a particularly heady pint of blueberries from the market last weekend, it was finally pie bar o’clock. There were a couple of super ripe, please-use-me-immediately peaches kicking around the kitchen, so I knew I’d be including those too…

peaches + blueberries

peaches + blueberries

…and there was plenty of basil in my garden, so that needed to happen as well. THEN, I remembered the little container of Madagascar vanilla crème fraîche that was in my fridge…

vanilla crème fraîche from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the insanely awesome sample pack I received from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery last week. I had the chance to meet a few people from the Creamery at the VT Cheesemakers Festival pre-party the other weekend, and had such a great time chatting with them about the creamery, their new goat dairy, and food and blogging in general. I was psyched when they offered to send me some samples, but I was blown away by the number of amazing things I received. (I actually started cackling like a crazy person as I kept pulling more and more things from the box, because it seemed as though it might never end.)

peaches + blueberries

So, I hypothesized that the vanilla crème fraîche would work quite well with everything else. I grabbed the container from the fridge, opened it, and stuck a spoon in. I took a tiny taste and then……I ate the whole spoonful. I don’t know what happened. Call it a reflex. I could not help it. It tasted like the richest, silkiest, most delicious vanilla yogurt that’s ever existed, ever. Like the way yogurt should taste in a magical land. If I were a fairy that lived in such a place (where things like weight gain aren’t even possible), I would eat vanilla crème fraîche for breakfast every day.

vanilla crème fraîche from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery

Unfortunately, I live in reality. Single girl reality, where I need to impress potential suitors by not looking like a 30-year-old that eats crème fraîche by the spoonful. So I stopped myself from engaging in more “reflex” eating, and reserved the rest for the bars.

I loved everything about these pie bars. Peaches and blueberries complement each other so well. Basil complements the peaches and the berries so well. Vanilla crème fraîche complements everything edible that exists in nature (and it added a wonderful slight creaminess and sour tang here). And the almond streusel was top notch before I melted it into its current sorry state in the oven the second time around. They are all-around delicious, and you should make them. ASAP. For real!

Blueberry, Peach, & Crème Fraîche Pie Bars with Almond Streusel

Blueberry, Peach, & Crème Fraîche Pie Bars with Almond Streusel
(inspired by The Tart Tart; adapted from Allrecipes via Sweet Amandine)

makes: 24 bars

Note: I wound up making this recipe slightly smaller than what I’ve outlined here to fit a weird 8 x 11 pan that I have. If anything seems off, please let me know!

Crust
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
a few pinches of salt
11 tbsp of butter (1 tbsp shy of 1.5 sticks)
1 egg, beaten

Filling
3 cups of blueberries
1 cup of diced peaches
1/2 cup of sugar
half a dozen medium basil leaves, minced
1/2 cup of vanilla crème fraîche (or crème fraîche + caviar from 1 vanilla bean)
juice of 1 lemon

Streusel
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
6 tbsp of butter
1/8 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 375° and butter a 9 x 13 pan.

To make the crust:
Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine, then add butter and egg and pulse until a crumbly dough forms. (Alternatively, you can make this without a food processor by adding the dry ingredients to a large bowl, then working in the egg and butter with your hands or a pastry cutter.) Press evenly into the bottom of your pan.

To make the filling:
Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon evenly over top of crust.

To make the streusel:
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. (Alternatively, work them together in a bowl with your hands or a pastry cutter.) Sprinkle over top of filling.

Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown. Let bars cool completely (overnight in the fridge, ideally) before cutting.

Blueberry, Peach, & Crème Fraîche Pie Bars with Almond Streusel

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Comments

  1. says

    I do have to say that those bars still look mighty delicious, and madagascar vanilla creme fraiche?!!! That’s just marvelous, if it were available he, I’d be scooping it in spoonfuls too!

  2. says

    I live in Nova Scotia, which is basically the blueberry capital of the planet. Also, I have a friend who has an organic blueberry farm. She brought me ten (TEN) pounds of blueberries the other day. So, life is good. But you know what might make it better? These freakin’ bars.

  3. says

    I could not stop laughing as I read this post. I know exactly what it’s like to try to salvage food for photos and then end up making it just look worse (the pizza for example. I totally burnt the CRAP out of one of them when attempting to reheat it). That said, these pie bars still look TO DIE FOR!
    Cackling at free samples? YES. That would totally be my response if I saw Madagascan vanilla bean creme fraiche and cultured butter.
    Oh oh! and the basil and almond streusel!? Ahhh I can feel heart palpitations coming on.

    • says

      Hehe! For real, my despair at what I’d done to them was extreme. To the point where I didn’t even really try with the pictures. (Ugh, just put them in a stack on a board and snap a few shots from slightly different angles WHATEVER.) I considered not posting them, but they were so good……I had to.

      All those samples…I died. I already made my way through the fancy cheeses like a CHAMP. And used the creamy goat cheese in an ice cream (stupid good). There’s still so. much. butter. I think it wants to be infused with things.

    • says

      Thank you!! I give most of the credit to indirect lighting from a single window, and then I play around with shadows and contrast a lot in Lightroom. :)

  4. says

    so would this be a breakfast or dessert item? never mind, BOTH.

    i find that pie bars are best kinda cold, almost slightly frozen. i bet these would be amazing with some ice cream… kinda like an ice cream pie cone, minus the cone shape but with all sorts of messy eating.

    • says

      Both, FOR SURE. These were definitely the best after they’d been in the fridge for a day. And with ice cream, oh yeah. Sooo good.

  5. says

    Carey these bars look great, c’mon! They still have a crumble vibe that I’m sensing very clearly despite the refrigeration and reheat ordeal. Vanilla creme fraiche sounds hella dreamy, like something that couldn’t even be real. Love the photo of that luxurious dollop of it on the spoon. SWOON.

    • says

      :D There is still a teeeeny hint of crumble (although I did adjustment brush the hell out of them to emphasize the little bit that was left). I don’t think I can ever be without vanilla crème fraîche now. I am in love.

  6. says

    Wow creme fresh with sweet vanilla!! I dont think they stock this in Austrlia but could I use sweeten normal creme fresh with a vanilla bean scraped in?
    I am guilty of putting cooked crumble bars in the fridge too but you have great photography skills that they still came out look luscious. Truly wonderful slice of berry heaven

  7. says

    Many of my desserts have fallen prey to the blompy curse of the refrigerator – or maybe it’s the curse of food bloggers who bake late at night and can’t take photos until daylight, and who have cats that will leave hairs all over the sticky bits if anything is left out… :D
    Honestly though, your bars look amazing! Running them through the oven gave the streusel an almost pie-like visage.

    Is it truly wrong to enjoy crème fraîche by the spoonful? Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong… :P

    • says

      Hehe! I was really hoping someone else would tell me they eat crème fraîche by the spoonful sometimes. ;)

      Total food blogger curse. Also the reason I post so many baked goods in contrast to savory dishes. Making the things I eat for dinner in the middle of the day can be rather strange! But should happen more often.

  8. says

    Oh this has happened soooo many times with me too! just yesterday one batch of my macarons went all soggy when I kept them in the fridge for like one whole day because of the filling. But it tasted good anyways! :D

    BTW, these bars look DELISH! I mean, there’s pecahes, blueberries, almond stresuel, basil and Madagascar vanilla creme fraiche! I’m drooling!

  9. says

    Hahahah, no one would’ve known there was a single thing wrong with the bars… till you split it in the first line! The bars looks awesome, sooo many blueberries studded beneath the ‘crumble’. Don’t worry, I can only imagine how amazing these bars would taste with crunchy tops! Mmmmmm

  10. says

    You may not think those bars look perfect in the photos…but when I looked at them my reaction was, ‘OMG!’ Perfect struesel topping or not.

  11. Christina says

    I just made these tonight and the flavor of the filling was great. The only problem was that my crust was very thin and crumbly; it won’t support the weight of the fruit, so we had to eat them with a fork. Overall, they were a success…do you think increasing the crust proportions by half would fix it? with two eggs or just more butter?

    • says

      Oh dear! Darn crust. (I was hoping that one wouldn’t have any issues, since the only conversion issue I really did for that was to reduce it by 2/3 to keep the streusel as a separate entity.) If it was thin, I’d try increasing it by 50%, and also upping the butter a little bit. I’m glad you enjoyed the filling at least! If you give them a try again with the modified recipe, definitely let me know how it works out.

      • Christina says

        I will definitely make these again! I’ll let you know the modification I make; an overnight spell in the refrigerator did wonders for the texture, by the way. Not so much for the looks, but they do taste just like a berry pie!

  12. says

    Ahhh! Carey, what are you talking about, these look amazing! I would like to eat one this very second actually because it’s that time of the month and my resolve (to look good for my wedding photos—damn those wedding photos) is pathetic against the force of hormones. Thank goodness the Internet is merely a visual and auditory experience.

    I saw your care package on Instagram and it caused me to start noticing Vermont Creamery products all over the place! I’m going to look out for that creme fraiche. It sounds freaking delicious, and not heavy at all. Seriously, a 30-year-old who eats creme fraiche by the spoonful has nothing to worry about. :)

    On the topic of blueberries, aren’t they swell?! I think they’re the one fruit I love in every form—raw, in ice cream, in muffins (omg, I have such a weakness for blueberry muffins), in pancakes, in PIE. I love blueberries!

    • says

      Hehehe! Dude, I am powerless against the hormones. I will seriously eat all the chocolate and all the potato chips; I cannot be stopped. And it’s awesome that you’re seeing VT Creamery stuff down in NY! (I feel like I live in a local bubble up here, and then I go outside of Vermont and freak out because I can’t find the things I usually buy.) Getting that care package was kind of amazing, because I buy so much of their stuff as it is. (I eat their herbed goat cheese like it’s my job, and the butter is so freakin’ amazing. When I found the butter the length of my forearm in the box, I nearly died.)

      I love love love blueberries. It took me a while to start eating them raw, because I was always partial to seedy berries. But their taste is so awesome! (I totally have the same weakness for blueberry muffins, especially if the blueberries are frozen before hand, and then they burst while they’re in the oven. So good!!)

  13. says

    Crumble or not – these look incrediable! Blueberry and peaches are actually my favorite fruit combination and anything with creme fraiche is a winner in my book! Gah – I wish I was eating one of these RIGHT NOW.

    • says

      Thanks, Shelly! I didn’t discover how good blueberries + peaches were until last year, and I can’t believe I lived so long without the combo in my life! :)

  14. says

    I don’t care what you say, I think these look perfect! I love that you put basil in them. They sound unbelievably awesome. Your description of the vanilla creme fraiche sounds exactly like some vanilla bean yogurt I had in Paris once. It came in tiny class pots, and tasted like slightly tangy creme brulee. Heaven! I don’t know why the yogurt in Europe is so much classier than ours…maybe because it’s closer in fat content to creme fraiche.

    I’m excited for Vermont Butter & Cheese’s new goat dairy! Have you tried their Coupole? It’s the best cheese ever. If I were rich, I would eat one for every meal. And these pie bars for dessert. :)

    • says

      Yuuuuusssss coupole!!!!!! I love it. It looks like a little brain and I love it. The bonne bouche is ridiculously good too. Man, now all I want to do is eat CHEESE.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if French yogurt was fattier and more delicious. They know how to do things right over there. :)

  15. says

    Considering they don’t look how they were supposed to, they still look delicious. I know the feeling. Luckily you have great photography skills so they look amazing!

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  1. [...] since I’ve found it.  I also love Carey’s quirky, down-to-earth writing (like this post, which I found hilarious and so relatable!  I feel like this kind of food-doctoring-gone-wrong [...]

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