Crust and Topping
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan.
To make the crust and topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until well blended. With the mixer running on low, add the cubed butter a little at a time, beating until the mixture looks dry and crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the crumb topping; refrigerate it while you bake the crust.
Press the rest of the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
32 oz frozen cherry, thawed and drained
Meanwhile, make the fruit filling: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the eggs and sour cream and whisk until smooth. Gently fold in the cherries.
Pour the filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping evenly on top. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
Cool the bars for at least an hour before cutting into squares, or scoop them out with a spoon while they are warm. The bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day & Griffith Day/Artisan Books, 2012.