This is a delicious recipe of Walnut and Rose Hip Jam Bars -Hungarian Londoni Szelet coming from Transylvania. The rose hip jam and the walnuts are the stars of the recipe that can be made for any occasion, from lazy Sundays to holidays.
Walnut and Rose Hip Jam Bars- Hungarian Londoni Szelet
I am very happy to finally share with you a recipe that is the closest to my heart. The recipe comes from my grandmother, Herta, who used to make it very often.
She made these bars using walnuts from the walnut tree that was growing in the back yard, and rose hip jam she was making from scratch.
My grandma is not around anymore, but the walnut tree that is over 100 years old is still alive…and the walnuts are delicious!
I know it doesn’t mean anything to you, but for me, that image is the same as my memories I have about the summers spent in that part of the world while growing up. This is one of my favorite pictures of all times, the one below with the walnuts on the grass.
Anyway, this is a Hungarian recipe that was adopted by many in Transylvania for generations and it can be found under different names.
My grandmother was German, so she called this recipe Szekler Kuchen. Schneider Kuchen is another name for this delicious dessert.
In Hungarian, it is called Londoni Szelet and in Romanian it is called either Prajitura London or Prajitura cu gem si nuca.
It took me a while to figure out the right recipe for these bars, as my grandmother did not write it down. Another member of the family gave me the recipe but she was very vague with her instructions.
I think a lot of recipes were like that in the past. They were passed from generation to generation, people learned from each other, therefore many times nothing was written down.
It was a pinch of this and a tablespoon of that, a handful of flour to make a dough and other incomplete instructions that only an experimented baker would be able to figure out today how to make the recipe.
The bars have three layers: a delicious shortbread crust, a layer of jam and a layer of meringue and walnuts, all baked to perfection.
In the Fagaras region where my grandmother used to live in Transylvania, this recipe was traditionally made with rose hip jam.
What is Rose hip and where does it come from:
Rose hip is a fruit that comes from the European native dog rose(Rosa canina), which is a wild rose plant. The plant makes little red fruits(rose hips) that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Because it grows abundantly in Transylvania and other regions of Romania, the plant is very popular and wildly used in a lot of products.
People make jam, or a sweet paste out of this fruit, sometimes tea, wine, or a syrup that can be diluted with water and enjoyed as a refreshment. Apparently, dog rose was also popular in United States in the 1940’s, during the World War II when it was planted in the victory gardens.
I really encourage you to make the recipe with rose hip jam, if you have it available, so you can taste it as it was supposed to taste originally. However, feel free to swap out the rose hip jam for your favorite flavor if you cannot find that jam in particular.
Try to avoid anything too sweet – tart jams like cherry, apricot, blackberry, raspberry or lingonberry work best. The bars are sweet, so they need a tart jam, for balance.
Sweet, tart and gooey, these bars are perfect for a weekend or as a gift to your favorite person. Impress your coworkers with these bars when you make them for a potluck.
They are also an awesome dessert to make for a Christmas gathering or a New Year’s party, as they are easy to make and easy to serve directly from the pan where you baked them.
What ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- all purpose flour
- unsalted butter
- powder sugar
- baking powder
- granulated sugar
- ground walnuts
- lemon zest
- rose hip jam or your favorite jam
HOW To Make these Walnut and Rose Hip Jam Bars:
While you can definitely make the shortbread crust by hand, I chose to use a food processor. There is no shame in using one when you are in a hurry.
The unsalted butter has to be very cold, directly from the fridge.
To make the crust, put the dry ingredients in the food processor and add the butter. Pulse 3-4 times or until you obtain a dough that has a sandy texture. Add the egg and pulse few more times until you obtain a dough.
Shape the dough into a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
I used the same food processor to make the cream. Place the eggs, sugar, zest of lemon in the food processor and pulse few times until the mixture looks frothy.
Incorporate the ground walnuts and mix until you obtain a creamy mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
Lightly flour the dough and the table surface and roll the dough to the size of a 9×13 inch(23/33cm) baking pan. Place the dough in the baking pan. Spread a layer of jam over it. Spread the walnut mixture over the jam.
Place the baking pan inside the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Let the pan cool on a rack, then cut the bars in squares and serve them.They last about 14 days.
These bars, if you keep them at room temperature, in an air tight container, can last for about 2 weeks. This is awesome, if you ask me, because you can bake them with some time in advance.
They are insanely decadent, rich and so good, that you will not be able to stop after only one piece. You can make the recipe for potlucks, picnics , holidays or any Sunday family meal.
Perfect with coffee. This is how my grandmother used to serve this dessert.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
She used to bake something once or twice a week. Bars, cookies or tarts, it did not matter, it all depended on what ingredients she had available.
The baked goods were kept in the pantry and enjoyed during the week with a cup of coffee, in the afternoon, especially with friends or family who would stop for a short visit once in a while.
If you are curious about the recipe, I dare you to bake and tell me if you liked it. It is easy to make and very delicious. If you have a major sweet tooth, this dessert is for you.
Suggestions for more bars recipes:
- 1 2/3 cups/7.41oz/210g all-purpose flour
- 3/4cup/3.5oz/100g powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons/5oz/140g unsalted cold butter cut in small cubes
- 1 large egg
- Jam layer:
- 14oz/400g jam(You need a tart jam, not very sweet-rose hip, plum, lingonberry, apricot )
- Walnuts topping:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup/7.05oz/200g granulated sugar
- zest from one lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups/7.05oz/200g ground walnuts
- Make the crust:
- If you make the dough by hand:
- In a bowl place flour, salt, sugar and baking powder together. Add cubed cold butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry tool until you obtain a sandy mixture.
- Add egg and knead them together until you obtain a dough.
- If you use a food processor:
- In a food processor, place flour, salt, sugar and baking powder together.
- Add butter and pulse 3-4 times or until you obtain a dough that has a sandy texture.
- Add egg and pulse few more times until you obtain a dough.
- Shape the dough into a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the walnuts topping:
- Beat the eggs until frothy, then add the sugar and the zest of the lemon. Beat again until creamy. Incorporate the ground walnuts.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Lightly flour the dough and the table surface and roll the dough to the size of a 9x13 inch(23/33cm) baking pan.
- Place the dough in the baking pan.
- Spread a layer of jam over it.
- Spread the walnut mixture over the jam.
- Place the baking pan inside the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- When cool, cut in squares and serve. This bars should be kept room temperature in a dry, cool place(closed container). They last about 14 days.
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KitchenAid KL26M1XSL Professional 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer - Silver
Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid -13.2 INCH x 8.9inch x 2 inch
D'arbo All Natural Fruit Spread, Seedless Rosehip, 16 Ounce
FISHER Chef's Naturals Chopped Walnuts, No Preservatives, Non-GMO, 10 oz
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 622Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g