Cherries are now in season, and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the taste of juicy fresh sweet cherries than a batch of Cherry Pie Bars.
I love to bake pies, but let’s face it: making pie from scratch is a bit of a project. And as a Mom of 3 kids who are out of school for the summer, dedicating a good portion of my day to baking is not always possible. So when I’m craving the flavor of homemade cherry pie, I love to whip up a batch of these delicious almond cherry pie bars.
These cherry pie bars are easy to serve and totally portable, which makes them the perfect sweet treat for picnics, barbecues and potlucks. In fact, I’ll be making these for our upcoming 4th of July celebration. After all, what’s more fitting for America’s birthday than a delicious cherry pie dessert?
What Cherries are Best for Baking Cherry Pie Bars?
There are two main varieties of cherries: sweet and sour. While both types can be used for baking, many traditional cherry pie recipes call for using sour cherries. These cherries are bright red, perfectly round and very juicy yet tart.
I tend to prefer to use sweet cherries for making these cherry pie bars. Not only are they more commonly available at my local market, but I can use less sugar and still get a lusciously sweet filling. I recommend using Bing cherries, which are a dark red, heart-shape cherry. However when in season, try using Rainier cherries. They are sweeter, less acidic and utterly delicious.
How to Make Homemade Almond Paste
There’s just something about the combination of cherry and almond that is oh-so-delectable. And the almond paste crumble topping on these cherry pie bars really gives them such a great depth of flavor.
However, store bought almond paste can be fairly expensive. But there is good news: making your very own almond paste at home is quick, easy and much more economical. You can try it for yourself by following my step by step instructions for how to make homemade almond paste in just 5 minutes!
Tips For Making Cherry Pie Bars
- Feel free to use almond extract instead of Disaronno.
- You can make the cherry pie filling ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
- If you love the combination of chocolate and cherry, sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on top before baking the bars.
More Great Cherry Recipes
Cherry Pie Bars with Almond are moist, chewy and delicious.
- 2 cups cherries pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon cherry juice or water
- 1 tablespoon Disaronno optional
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup almond paste homemade or store bought
In a small pot, combine chopped cherries and sugar. Cook over medium low-heat for about 5 minutes or until cherries begin to simmer.
Whisk together corn starch and juice (or wateuntil smooth.
Pour cornstarch mixture into cherries and continue cooking, while stirring, until cherry filling begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.
Stir in Disaronno, if desired.
Remove from heat and cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 -inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add egg, egg yolk, and almond extract; beat until thoroughly incorporated.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt and beat until dough comes together.
Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the lined pan.
Spread cooled cherry filling over the dough.
Drop remaining dough by teaspoonfuls over filling.
Break off small pea-sized clumps of almond paste and sprinkle over filling.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely before cutting into 12-15 small squares.