The jam can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. I'm sure the jam would be good on toast or muffins, too.
Like all bar recipes, this makes a lot of dessert. They are great for potlucks and picnics. I shared with neighbors and friends!
Raspberry Rhubarb Almond Bars
2 cups chopped (1/2-inch pieces) rhubarb (2 large stalks)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
7 oz. almond paste
2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Combine the rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally while it heats up and the sugar melts. Once it comes to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the jam until the fruit breaks down, most of the liquid boils off, and it has a thick, jam-like texture (it will continue to thicken as it cools). Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. This should take 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using. It can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the ends. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Coarsely chop the almond paste into pieces and put it in a food processor. Process in long pulses until almond paste is in fine crumbs, then remove it from the processor.
Place the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and baking powder in the processor, and pulse briefly to combine. Add the cold cubed butter, and pulse in long pulses until the mixture is crumbly, but holds together if you press a ball of it between your fingers. Add the almond paste crumbs and almond extract, and process in short bursts until it's well-mixed. (The dough will still be crumbly).
Separate out about 1 1/4 cups of the crust and set it aside for later. Take the remaining crust mixture and press it into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the bottom crust for 15 minutes, until it is puffed and just starting to take on some color.
Spread the jam out into an even layer on the baked crust, and sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the top (it will puff and spread as it bakes).
Bake the bars for an additional 30 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the top crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Using the foil as handles, remove the bars from the pan and cut them into small squares.
Bars can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
(Recipe adapted from www.sugarhero.com).
|Extra foil on the ends allows for easy removal of the cooked bars.|