We bake and blog (and eat). Though baking takes up a lot more of our life than blogging.
June 12, 2013 / By Matt
[Note from Matt: I am absolutely giddy with excitement to present you with a post from our special Copenhagen correspondent, Johannah Christensen. Johannah is an extremely talented baker and all-around great person. She was kind enough to meet up with me while I was in Copenhagen to discuss the local pastries, breads, restaurants, and other “must visit” spots. I LOVED Copenhagen. The Danish whole grain rye bread and baskets of hindbærsnitte are worth the plane ride alone. Now, without further interruption, Johanna’s post… ]
Walk into any bakery in Denmark and you will quickly spot a bar that stands out from everying else on offer. Bright white icing and colorful sprinkles set it apart from the pillowy Danish pastries and rustic rye breads that line the shelves. Meet the hindbærsnitte.
Hindbærsnitte translates into raspberry slice, and that’s exactly what it is: a slice of raspberry goodness. Two layers of sweet shortcrust pastry sandwiched with raspberry jam, topped with a simple icing and confetti sprinkles.
Until a few years ago I got my hindbærsnitte fix by bicycling across Copenhagen to a bakery in the Christianshavn neighborhood. Lagkagehuset is a legendary bakery that, at the time, would draw people from all over the city to line up for wienerbroed, kanelgifler
Then a private equity firm invested in Lagkagehuset and in quick succession grew the business from it’s original Christianshavn location to 25 shops all over Denmark. Along the way, their hindbærsnitte got a makeover. Gone are the colorful sprinkles brimming with nostalgia. In their place, freeze-dried raspberries – a more rustic look, that adds little in terms of taste. The jam is dull and the crust too thin. Maybe it’s because I no longer have to make the trek across town to get my hands on them, and instead can head over to the new Lagkagehuset that’s literally a two-minute walk away from my building, but to me, they just don’t taste the same.
As a result, I’ve been on a quest to create a hindbærsnitte to match Lagkagehuset’s original version. A pastry that’s worthy of a 30 minute bike ride.
The secret to hindbaersnitte heaven is a tender, buttery shortcrust and tart, fresh raspberry jam. This particular shortcrust includes ground almonds, which results in a lovely texture and adds a subtle almond aroma to complement the raspberries.
Sure, you can use store-bought jam, but I suggest you make your own. It only takes 15 minutes, and your effort will be rewarded with a bright flavor that smacks of summer .
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of jam. You will only need about a cup of this to make your hindbaersnitter. Store leftover jam in the fridge. It will keep for 2-3 weeks. (Unless, like me, you devour it in a matter of days, with a spoon, directly from the jar.)
When raspberries are not in season, I use frozen berries in place of fresh. But you could use any jam that you have on hand, as long as it is not too sweet. Last summer I made them with plum glitter jam, and I think blueberry or cranberry jam might be good too.
Adapted from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook
500 g (about 3 cups) fresh or frozen raspberries
250 g (1 1/4 cups) sugar with added pectin (or add Sure-Jell according to package instructions)
Place half the fruit in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat and crush with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the remaining fruit and the sugar (as well as the pectin, if using). Stir to combine.
Continue stirring until get sugar is dissolved, then turn up the heat and bring to a full boil. Let boil for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir to disperse any foam.
Pour into a heatproof container and refrigerate until needed.
Adapted from Meyers Kager
375 g (3 cups) flour
200 g (1 cup) sugar
65 g (2/3 cup) ground almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla pod, split down the middle and seeds scraped out
275 g (1 1/4 cups) butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 egg yolks, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, sugar, ground almonds, salt and vanilla seeds in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a knife, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs. Add the egg yolks and working quickly, bring together the dough with your hands.
Divide the dough into two halves. Place one half between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out into a rectangle, about 1/5 inch thick and 8 x 12 inches large. Repeat with the other half. Let the pastry rectangles rest in the fridge for about an hour.
Remove the pastry rectangles from the fridge and peel off the top sheet of parchment paper. Trim the edges and cut each rectangle into two strips of pastry, about 4 x 12 inches. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Assemble the Raspberry Bars
1 cup raspberry jam
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
While the crust is still warm to the touch, spread two of the strips of crust with a generous layer of jam. Place the other two crusts on top of the jam and press down gently. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the icing, add lemon juice to the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, stirring vigorously. The icing should be fairly thick, so it doesn’t run off, but results in a generous glaze. Spread over the top layer of crust and sprinkle with confetti sprinkles. Once the glaze has set, cut into bars. Enjoy!
Makes 8-10 hindbærsnitter.