- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, diced into small pieces (reserve about 5 whole strawberries for garnishing)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- about 3/4 of one 8-ounce container whipped topping (I used fat-free; homemade whipped cream may be substituted)
- strawberry slices, for garnishing
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil; set aside.
Crust – To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, butter, sugar, salt, and using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Turn mixture out into prepared pan and hard-pack with a spatula to form an even, smooth, crust layer.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set on a wire rack to cool. While crust bakes, dice the strawberries.
Filling – After crust has cooled for about 5 minutes, evenly top with strawberries; set aside.
To a large mixing bowl (the same one used for the crust is fine, just wipe it out with a paper towel), add the eggs, sugar, cream, vanilla, and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute to combine.
Add the flour and stir to combine; don’t overmix.
Evenly pour filling mixture over the strawberries.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown and custard is set. Tip – In the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking, if the top is already looking fairly browned, tent the pan with a sheet of foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over the pan) to prevent additional browning.
Allow bars to cool uncovered on a wire rack for about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight), or until chilled.
Evenly spread the whipped topping over the top and garnish with strawberry slices. Serve immediately. Bars will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Note – If using homemade whipped cream, it will be prone to deflating after the first day. For that reason, I prefer using whipped topping.