Thursday, January 30, 2014

Apricot buttery bars

Post-vacation depression, is what I have been experiencing the past 2 weeks! Going back to work, leaving the family behind and waking up early to a cold and gloomy weather. So to escape from all this what is better than some comfort food?

Thinking about the perfect comforting recipe, I recalled scenes from my childhood. My grandma had a tin box that used to be filled with all sort of goodies but what I liked the most was the buttery squares filled with apricot jam which she used to prepare herself. Without a doubt, it was the best apricot jam I have ever tasted. My mother used to make those squares too, almost every week. The recipe was easy and made good use of the many apricot jam jars she had in the cupboard. Randa, or Randa pie as  the recipe was called was a favorite of mine while growing up. I am not sure about the name and its origins, but what I am certain of is the recipe's yumminess and comforting credentials. These apricot buttery bars were the cure I needed, the comfort I longed for, even though I lack a key ingredient: my granny's wonderful jam.

For the recipe you need few ingredients and few easy steps, but the result is more than satisfying. For 18 cm round pan or a 15x15 square pan, you need:

  • 150 g flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g powdered sugar
  • The zest of half a lemon
  • Seeds of a half vanilla pod
  • dash of salt
  • 100 g apricot jam (you can use any other jam you like)
  • Slivered almonds (just few to sprinkle on top)

Slightly butter your pan and sprinkle with flour. In a food processor combine all the ingredients but the jam, and pulse for a minute or two. Transfer the mixture, which is still rather sandy at this point, to your working surface and slightly work the dough until it comes together. You don't need to knead the dough, you want it to come together with some little effort and time.

Use 3/4 of the dough to cover the bottom, it will be about 1 cm thick, spread the jam, then with a big hole grater, grate the remaining over the jam layer, then add the chopped almonds.
Chill the dough you want to grate for about half an hour to make the grating easier, or you can add some more flour.

Bake for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven (180). As always baking time depends on the oven, so keep a close watch over your tart, you don't want it to burn but to have a golden color.

These squares keep well for about a week  in air-tight container. Serve them with a hot drink, whipped cream or just plain natural and indulge in the buttery and fruity comfort.


  1. What's that drink in the picture?! It looks delicious as well as a great companion to this desert!

    1. It´s just coffee with whipped cream and a sprinkle of rum and vanilla sugar!