Walnut and apricot jam shortbread squares, aka London bars are decadent Hungarian pastries. These crazy delicious three layer bars could make a great Christmas treat that everyone will love.
Walnuts and apricot jam make a great combination. These two simple ingredients are always present in every Hungarian women’s cupboard. Because they have been very common for centuries, there are a lot of recipes using these harvested/homemade ingredients. One of the most popular Hungarian cake, zserbó (Gerbeaud Cake) – which is one of the traditional Christmas desserts in Hungary – has walnut and apricot jam filling as well. My recipe is similar to zserbo, but it’s way more easier than that.
To continue the tradition to bake something with walnut and jam for Christmas, I prepared these delicious shortbread squares with apricot jam and walnut foam filing, which are called London bars. The origin of the name is uncertain, but one thing is sure, this cake has been baked for generations.
These crazy delicious bars have three layers: a buttery crumbly shortbread crust, an apricot jam spread and an egg white walnut foam. The combination of these layers makes a perfect dessert.
The preparation of these bars is super easy and simple, first make the buttery crust, let it rest, then press it in a baking tray, spread the jam (preferably apricot jam, but it’s ok to use any berry jam) over the crust, then top the cake with the amazingly sweet, ground walnut egg white foam. Bake for 20 minutes, then enjoy a piece (certainly more) of these scrumptious crumbly London bars.
This irresistible crumbly cake can easily be your new favorite pastry. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you liked it! Enjoy and happy holidays!
- 2 cups | 250 g all purpose flour
- ¾ cup | 120 g sugar
- 130 g | 1 stick + 1 tbsp butter (room temperature)
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- ⅔ cup | 150 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups | 200 g ground walnuts
- 1½ cups apricot jam
- Whisk the egg yolks with the butter and sugar, then sift in the flour. Using your hand or a food processor mix together the flour with the egg mixture, until it turns into a dough. Form a ball and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C | 360°F. Line a medium sized baking tray with parchment paper.
- Grind the walnuts (I put mine in a food processor, it worked great).
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until it turns foamy. Add gradually the sugar and vanilla, beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the ground walnut carefully.
- Roll out the dough and press it into the prepared baking tray.
- Spread the apricot jam over the crust, then the walnut foam over the jam.
- Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is baked and the top has a golden brown color. If the top starts to burn, reduce the oven temperature.
- Let it cool before slicing.
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