Recipe Revisit: Cranberry Hungarian Pastry

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We went to make a favorite dessert, Raspberry Hungarian Pastry, the night before Thanksgiving and discovered that we had no raspberry jam - very key to this recipe. These bars have a buttery base, slathered with tart jam and toasted nuts, and they're baked with a delicately crispy egg white topping that melts on your tongue. The jam is important, and a sweeter jam like strawberry wouldn't have the same effect.

So we had to get creative, and festive. Click for more photos...

There were some leftover cranberries in the fridge, so we whipped up that homemade Cranberry Jam we had been meaning to try. This and some ground, toasted walnuts turned out to be a splendid new way of making this pastry.

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Here we're spreading out the jam. The key to this recipe is even proportions - there should be just enough jam, not too thick. Nuts went on top, under the egg white topping. We used walnuts and belatedly realized that pistachios would have been fantastic.

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The egg whites are beaten just until foamy and a little stiff. They are unsweetened - they are there for crunch and texture. Sprinkle a few more nuts on top and bake.

These are a great holiday dessert; they keep well, although we like to re-crisp the topping in the oven before serving.

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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