Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kinfolk Recipe Book: Meringue Blueberry Bars

Last Thursday evening we hit the town for a book signing, followed by a small dinner at Saison in Jackson Ward. Tim had seen the upcoming book signing for The Kinfolk Table, Recipes for Small Gatherings, and both being such big fans of the Kinfolk brand, we were all in. It turns out the co-author of the book, Rebecca Parker Payne, is a Richmond native and teamed up with Richmond Magazine to give a small talk about her experiences traveling, eating and writing for a brand she loves. I always enjoy meeting other people working remotely for creative companies based out of another state while making it work just fine from here in Richmond.


We were among an intimate crowd in at the cozy downtown Richmond cooking school, Mise En Place. Rebecca and her husband shared stories about how she grew up around the fellowship of friends and food, and detailed the opportunity she had to quit her former job in order to pursue the documentation and labor that became The Kinfolk Table.


We had a great time at the signing, left with a signed copy of our own and had fun paging through it over our own meal that night, trying to decide what recipe we'd try first. I happened upon a recipe for meringue raspberry cookies that had been shared by an endearing couple in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since I'd just recently mastered the art of making my first meringue for Tim's birthday, this was definitely at the top of my list — plus we had all the ingredients on hand to make them (subbing blueberries for the raspberries). Score!

Meringue Blueberry Bars
Makes 12-16 bars, adapted from The Kinfolk Table


Ingredients:
  • 9 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 3 Tbps sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Blueberry jam or compote (any fruit jam you prefer will do)
  • Fresh blueberries to garnish (optional)
Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Mix butter, half of the sugar, the egg yolks and the flour until they form a dough. Roll it out into a thin layer onto a baking sheet.


Bake the dough for 5 minutes (mine took about 10 minutes) or until just beginning to crisp. Remove the sheet from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute or until they begin to foam. With the mixer running, add the remaining sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue beating until egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Spread jam to taste over the cookie base, then gently spread the meringue on top of the jam. 


Bake for about 1 hour or until the meringue is dry and lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool completely, at least 1 hour.

It will come out from the oven hot, crisp and smelling amazing. Once completely cooled, cut into bars or use cookie cutters to make rounds — either way, you'll get that wonderfully crackled and rustic looking meringue cloud over the layered jammy shortbread base:


Add fresh fruit to serve; I went with blueberries since we used blueberry jam — and that's what I'm talking about:


The bars turned out to be such a surprising simple treat to make and will definitely make their way into our regular rotation. I consider them an even bigger win since Tim liked them — they had more a European sweetness to them, meaning not over the top. He even told me they reminded him of something his Hungarian grandmother would have made, wow! In our house, that's probably one of the highest compliments I could receive.

We're glad we made the trek out into the cold to attend the signing; the book is a hefty one and a work of art in itself — definitely one we'll continue to page through just to look at the inviting photographs, gathering recipe inspiration.

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for joining us. Those bars look divine!

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  2. I just receive a jar of raspberry/rhubarb preserve that would be good with recipe. It is sweet/ tart which will be just right. Thanks for the recipe.

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