Raspberry Bars Recipe from A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets
This follow-up to the author’s James Beard award-winning Secrets of a Jewish Baker is a charming collection of European-style bakery favorites, such as coffee cake and strudel.
George Greenstein has a gift for teaching home bakers to think, work, and bake like the pros with his evocative and tactile descriptions of baking. In A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets, he crafts master dough recipes for Jewish holiday baking and European classics, creating a comprehensive set of building blocks for both beginners and baking enthusiasts.
Greenstein’s expert instructions educates readers in making doughs for bundt, babka, strudel, gugelhopf, stollen, pressburger, puff pastry, and Danish to create a jumping-off point for more than 200 variations of classic pastries, including napoleons, coffee cakes, and sweet buns. Here’s a recipe favorite for raspberry bars that’s popular with children and those of us with a sweet tooth. Happy baking!
1⁄2 sheet (1 pound, 14 ounces / 850 grams) puff pastry dough (pages 130–33)
1 cup (10.5 ounces / 300 grams) thickened raspberry jam, or more to cover
1 tablespoon water
2 1⁄2 cups (24 ounces / 680 grams) Butter Streusel (page 40)
1. Confectioners’ sugar, for topping (optional)
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a half-sheet pan. Line with parchment paper or waxed paper and then grease the paper.
3. Cut the dough into two halves. On a floured work surface, roll each piece out until about 1 inch wider than the baking sheet. Shrink down the dough by holding one corner of the bottom edge with each hand, lifting gently, and giving a little shake, like smoothing out a tablecloth. Roll out again if necessary. Let rest for 5 minutes.
4. Brush off any excess flour. Gently fold one sheet of the dough into quarters, lift onto a prepared pan, and open. Spread with your fingers from the center out if the dough does not cover the bottom of the pan.
5. Spread the raspberry jam over the dough from edge to edge. Fold the remaining sheet of dough into quarters and place on top, covering the raspberry jam, and then open it. Trim any excess from the edges. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
6. Lightly beat the egg with the water to make an egg wash. Brush the top with the egg wash, taking care not to let the egg drip down the sides of the dough.|
7. Spread a generous layer of the streusel over the top, covering completely. Press down lightly with hands or rolling pin. With a bench knife or chef ’s knife, score off sixteen 4 by 4-inch bars and then cut straight down through the dough. Allow the pastry to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the pastry can be refrigerated overnight for baking the next day or it can be frozen for up to 4 weeks. Frozen pastries can go directly from the freezer to the oven.
8. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
9. Put the raspberry bars in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F/190°C. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until evenly browned. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut through the bars again before removing from pan.
10. When cool, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Loosely covered, the pastries keep well at room temperature for up to a week. They can be frozen for up to 4 weeks but may become soggy.
Yield: 16 bars
Variation Fruit Bars replace the raspberry jam with thickened blue¬berry, cherry, or apricot preserves (page 37).