Baking on Friday: Rye Crumble Bars

"Crumble" is operative word for this.  I tried cutting into it while it was still too warm.  It was a little like cutting into lasagna right out of the oven.  What can I say?  I really, really, really wanted to taste it.  My impatience was rewarded, however, because this is a really tasty, chewy treat.

This recipe appeared in our local newspaper, The Oregonian FOODday this past week as a part of a larger article about rye.  I guess I always thought of rye as an alcoholic beverage, and never gave it much thought as a baking ingredient.  However, I was able to find rye flour without any trouble at my local grocery store.
While the Oregonian article makes a distinction between light, medium, and dark rye flours, I could only find light, and that's what I used.  The recipe also calls for whole-wheat pastry flour, which I was able to find in the bulk food bins (unlike the rye flour, which I had to purchase by the package).  I love when I can find unusual items like that in the bulk food bins, and I don't have to buy a whole pile of it to sit forever.  In any case, I freeze leftovers, and it will last a long time that way.

I used red raspberry jam, but you could use any flavor you like.  Surprisingly, a cup and a half of jam is equal to a whole 18 oz. jar.  That's a lot of jam, but it was not cloyingly sweet.

A word of warning:  the instructions state to preheat the oven to 275°F.  That's "2" with a t- t- t-"T".  Not "3" with a th- th- th- "That's a bummer!"  Baking the shortbread crust in an oven that is 100° too hot will yield disappointing results.  Of course, I would never do anything like that (she says, while banging her head against the hot oven door).

So with that in mind, here's the recipe for Rye Crumble Bars:

from "Good to the Grain," by Kim Boyce


Shortbread crust
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crumble topping
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rye flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups jam


To make crust: Into a large bowl sift the flours, sugar and salt, pouring back into the bowl any bits of ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of a buttered, 9-inch spring form pan (or a buttered 8-inch square pan). Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes while you make the crumble topping.

To make topping: In a food processor add the oatmeal, sugars, flours and salt. Process until the oatmeal is partially ground. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the melted butter, stirring with your hands. Squeeze the dough as you mix to create small crumbly bits. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 275°F.

Bake the frozen shortbread until golden brown and firm when touched, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the shortbread from the oven and increase the temperature to 350°F.

To assemble the bars, spread 1 1/2 cups jam over the shortbread crust and top with the crumble topping, evenly sprinkling it over the surface and squeezing bits of it together to create irregular crumbles. Bake the bars for 50 to 55 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway for even baking.

When the pan is cool enough to handle but still warm, run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen any fruit that may have stuck to the pan while baking and remove the ring. Keep the crumble bars in the pan until they are completely cool, then cut them into wedges or bars.

The bars are best eaten the day they're made, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

1 comment:

quiltzyx said...

When I see "Rye", I think of a guy I met in college! lol Then of rye bread.
Anything including fruit & the word "crumble" kinda has to be good, doesn't it?