Sour Cherry Brown Butter Bars

July 30, 2020

When sour cherries come into season between June and July, we can't help but freeze them and preserve them for the whole year. Sour cherries contain 20x’s more vitamin A and 5x’s more antioxidants than sweet cherries, all the more reason to love them and stock up. 

Their tart, juicy body makes them the perfect pie filling. While we have nothing against pies, we wanted to share a dessert that was easily shareable. If sour cherry season has passed, feel free to substitute them with any kind of fruit of your liking. 

Make this ahead and store it at room temperature, or in the fridge for multiple days. 

7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
10 oz sour cherries, pitted


  1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment.
  2. Using rubber spatula or fork, mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bottom of the small saucepan you used to melt the butter. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated.
  3. Transfer dough to your prepared pan, and use your fingertips to press the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden, 20 minutes (it will puff slightly while baking). 
  4. Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.
  5. Make the filling: Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often and watching carefully, about 6 minutes. 
  6. Immediately pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup to cool slightly.
  7. Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. 
  8. Add flour and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture.
  9. Arrange pitted cherries in the bottom of your cooled crust. 
  10. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the fruit. 
  11. Bake bars until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
  12. Use the parchment paper overhang to carefully remove cooled bars from pan and place them on a cutting board and cut them into squares with a very sharp knife. 

Recipe by Local Roots team member Phoebe Tran.

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