Sunday, January 12, 2014

jammy almond crumb bars

we live 
in the country
not the county of estates and tag sales
but the country
pastures and dairy sheep
so when
someone stops by
we wave them in
take their coat
sit them down with a
hot cup of coffee and a sweet

these bars are a twist on the common crumble bar
i use whatever jam i have on hand
{usually something not too sweet loaded with bits of fruit}
the twist comes in the form of almond paste
it finds its way into these cookies
at every bite
jammy almond crumb bars
2 sticks unsalted butter--room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
7 oz almond paste (divided)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup high quality-not too sweet jam (ollalaberry, raspberry, blackberry, fruits of the forest, etc)
1/4 cup toasted pistachio nuts
place sugar, flour and 1/3 of the almond paste in a bowl.  by hand, work in the almond paste so that it is in small bits throughout the flour.  Add the butter and work by hand until you get a crumble that will stick when pressed together.
press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom and up the sides of  a 9"x9"  fluted tart pan*. take remaining almond paste and lightly press a thin layer on top of the crust.  you may not use all of the paste. spread evenly with jam.  
Mix the pistachio nuts in with remaining dough.  Evenly distribute remaining dough by crumbling on top of jam.  (i like a thick layer of topping)
Bake at 350 for approximately 40-45 minutes. you want the crust and crumble to be slightly colored, but not over-browned.

*if you do not have a fluted tart pan, this works fine in a standard 9x9 cake pan, just be sure to bring the crust 1/4-1/2"  up the sides.


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