Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars, aka Ham Pie

Published October 20, 2013 by jenmatteson

I know, it sounds gross.  But let me explain.  Over the weekend, the hubs and I went to our friends’ Slumber Party Massacre.  It’s basically a great annual excuse to get together, play beer pong, flip cup, and watch scary movies (my favorite!).  Unfortunately for us, the beer pong tournament lasted until almost 3 AM, so there was no flip cup afterwards 😦  Nate and I are pretty horrid at beer pong, but surprisingly, we did win two games, but lost two.  So I suppose we are just okay, not horrid.  Overall, it was a super fun night and we’re already looking forward to next year.

Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars

So what’s with the ham pie, you ask?  Well, for the party, I brought lemon-cranberry pie bars to share.  I didn’t get the swirl just right, which just made for a mostly pink top.  After a while, the confectioners’ sugar seeps into the topping, and the result apparently looks like ham.  One of my friends truly thought it was an appetizer with ham on the top, coining the term “ham pie”.  I’m not sure that name really sold many people on trying them, sadly.  Nate and I both love them, so I suppose it’s everyone else’s loss.

Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars

The bars are more or less a variation on lemon bars, with the addition of cranberry.  The acid from the lemon and the tartness from the cranberries paired with the sweet crust makes for an excellent treat!

Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars

Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: Makes one 9×13-inch pan


For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

For the filling:
1 cup cranberries
2 3/4 cups sugar
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup water
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about two lemons)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
confectioners’ sugar


1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together butter and both sugars for two minutes on medium speed.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add flour-salt mixture.

2.  Transfer dough to parchment paper lined 9×13-inch baking pan.  Press dough over the bottom and about 1-inch up the sides all around (you can cover the dough with plastic wrap and press it in with the bottom of a measuring cup).  Refrigerate until firm.

3. Bake crust for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.  Halfway through baking, remove from oven and use the back of a spoon to even and smooth the sides and corners of crust.  Transfer pan to wire rack and let crust cool before filling.

4. Make the filling: In a saucepan, simmer cranberries, with 1/4 cup of the sugar, cloves and water over moderately low heat, until berries pop and liquid thickens, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Transfer mixture to food processor and puree until smooth.  Strain and press the puree through a fine sieve set over a bowl and let cool completely.

5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.

6. Mix 1/2 cup lemon filling with cranberry puree.  Pour the rest of the lemon filling into cooled crust, and swirl in cranberry mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until set.  Transfer pan to wire rack to cool.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

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