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May 28, 2007

Jin's Trier Squares

Yay! I've been hoping Jin over at Jintrinsique would be able to contribute to BWC soon (despite being continually swamped and beyond busy)! Go have a quick look at her blog to get a "Jintaste" of her marvelous creations, and then come on back to see about her great Trier Squares recipe, which she has given me permission to reproduce here! This is taken straight from her March 2006 post - word for word (well, almost!) and glorious picture for picture! By her words alone, can't you just feel the LOVE Jin puts into her creations???? Can't you just about taste them - right through your computer screen??? Hey ... STOP that!!!! You're not supposed to actually lick your computer screen!!! Teeheeheehee ... thanks soooo much Jin!

"I enjoy making these bars more than anything else. It's not one of my favourites to eat; but to create them...ahhh...the scents of all the ingredients are the most incredible! I will do my best to describe them as I go through the recipe.

They are named after the town of Trier, located on the banks of the Mosel River in southwestern Germany. These bars are are filled with a vegetarian version of mincemeat. You could make them into mini tarts, a large tart (no pun intended; my British husband would laugh hysterically at this), a pie, or, as I do here, in a 12"x18" pan."

Cream in mixer (w/ paddle), food processor or by hand:
1# Unsalted Butter, I use European Style (less water content)
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg

Slowly add enough unbleached flour, I use organic bread flour, until the dough forms a ball. (The amount of flour varies with your ingredient quality. You can start with about 1# of flour.) It will be slightly sticky.

Put dough in the freezer or refrigerator until it starts to firm up.

Roll 2/3 of your dough into the bottom of a parchment lined 12"x18" pan. Freeze or refrigerate until firm.

Roll out the remaining dough. Cut strips about 1/2"-3/4" wide. Chill & reserve for the lattice decoration on the top of the bars.

Spread about 1-1/2 cups of jam, preserves or fruit spread on the crust. I've already used Apricot, Strawberry & Raspberry. It's really your preference

....the really yummy part is coming up...

Stir together in a medium sized bowl:
1# Sliced Almonds
1# Sugar
10 oz. Sultanas
2 teaspoons Penzey's Ceylon Cinnamon

...a few notes here......
1. If you don't have sultanas (golden raisins) go ahead & use regular raisins, or, try something different like dried blueberries, cherries, chopped apricots, etc. Remember - a recipe is only a starting point!
2. Penzey's is a spice house that has some phenomenal spices, herbs, extracts, etc. I order many things from them. Sure, you can substitute plain old cinnamon for this. But, in my opinion, you will be missing out on one of my favourite parts of making these. Ceylon cinnamon, 'true' cinnamon has a very citrusy smell & taste. It's not nearly as strong as Vietnamese cinnamon which I absolutely LOVE, but is not suited to this particular recipe. I highly recommend, upon opening the jar of Ceylon cinnamon, to inhale deeply, several times. Ahhh, I swear it's an antidepressant! :-)
3. I also just love the sound of this mixture. Yes, I said sound. The crunch of the sliced almonds swishing against the granulated sugar inside the stainless steel bowl. Phusssht, swish, crunch, tink tink tink, phusssht, swish, crunch, tink tink.


Add to the above mixture & stir well:
1/2 cup Milk or cream
1/4 cup Lemon juice (only use the pure stuff, nothing from concentrate!)

...are you ready for the best part? You are going to make beurre noisette, "brown butter".

Put 7 oz. unsalted butter in a large sauce pan. Heat on medium-high until the butter is melted. turn the heat down to medium-low & continue to cook until the water evaporates & the butter solids drop to the bottom of the pan & turn brown. Turn off the heat, stand back slightly, & add 1 Tablespoon of Neilson Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla

...crackle crackle crackle crackle, pop pop, crackle crackle crackle...the second it stops spitting out of the pan, waft that steam ALL AROUND the kitchen! To me this is the most wonderful fragrance on the planet! Because your butter is hot, the alcohol in the vanilla burns off instantly, leaving you with a buttery, nutty vanilla essence that is divine.

As soon as you recover from your state-of-bliss, pour this over your almond mixture, stir together thoroughly, (note how the cinnamon scent changes as you add the warm butter!) & pour it over your jam layer, spreading evenly. Top with your lattice stripes & brush the pastry with an egg wash. Bake in the lower third of your oven @ 375 degrees F. for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool, slice & ENJOY!!!

1 comment:

angel said...

drooling... gotta try this...