Tropical Jammy Pie bars. Ay tropical version of Hummingbird High's jammy pie bars from her new ( and first!) cookbook "Weeknight Baking - recipes to fit into your schedule".
Fall baking season is in full swing and pie is on everyone's mind these days. When I saw the Jammy Pie Bars in Hummingbird High's baking book I knew I wanted to make them because they are essentially pie with a lot less fuss. I am all for less fussy pie.
I adore Michelle and her blog, Hummingbird High. She currently lives in Portland, Or ( where I used to live) and I love seeing glimpses of her very Portland home. One thing I wished I had had in my home when I lived there were all the amazing built-ins ( storage, cabinets etc) like she has in her home. Great for blog prop storage.
She also somehow manages to make the almost year round dark and dreary weather look bright and sunny with her blog images. She is a magician as well as an incredible baker.
Michelle always makes the most amazing desserts from cookies, pies, muffins and gorgeous layer cakes. I debated making a layer cake from her book first but decided to make these jammy pie bars instead. I am still planning on making one of her layer cakes as well.
Let's dig into these jammy pie bars first.
The recipe is broken down into two parts to be made over two weeknights. First night you make the bottom layer of pie crust. I made the recipe in one day, because I had the time. Broken down into two days makes it even easier.
I added in some unsweetened coconut flakes to the bottom pastry layer. I pulsed them for a few seconds in my food processor so there weren't any huge pieces in the crust.
Michelle's instructions say to use a tart tamper to press evenly all over the bottom of the prepared pan. Well. I have cocktail muddlers, not tampers. So that is what I used. And my hands to smooth it all the way out evenly.
Bake the bottom crust with a piece of parchment placed over it and fill it with pie weights. Since I don't make pie as often as Michelle, I used rice a substitute for pie weights. Dry beans work as pie weights too.
Since I made these jammy pie bars in one day instead of over two evenings, I made the streusel topping while the base pastry layer was baking.
I added in shredded unsweetened coconut as well as salted macadamia nuts. I pulsed the macadamia nuts in the food processor with the coconut before adding it to the rest of the streusel ingredients. Butter went in last.
For my tropical version of these jammy pie bars I used a mango pineapple jam. You can use any jam you want for these bars.
I got a jar of apple cider jam from Trader Joe's that I want to use the next time I make these. I will sub in apple pie spice into the streusel topping too. The possibilities really are endless with these bars.
The jam is added while the pastry crust is still warm, no need to cool it, then add the streusel topping. I think I might have added too much jam, so I went with too much streusel as well.
I really don't think there is such a thing as too much streusel though.
Glorious, golden streusel topped tropical jammy pie bars. I know its November, and we are full on into apple/pumpkin/pear season, but I am all for tropical flavors year round.
Cool the bars slightly after baking and cut into generous 2 inch squares. Eat with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I think these would be amazing served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Check notes on how to make these in two days instead of one like I did.
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 2 ¼ cups (10.15 ounces) all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (2.65 ounces) confectioners sugar, sifted
- pinch of kosher salt ( about ¼ tsp)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ c unsweetened, flaked coconut (pulsed in food processor to make smaller pieces)
- 1 ½ cups (18 ounces) seedless jam of choice ( I used St. Dalfour Mango Pineapple Jam)
For the Streusel:
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour
- ½ cup ( 4 ounces) VERY COLD unsalted butter, cut into cubes*
- ½ cup (3.75 ounces) tightly packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup salted macadamia nuts
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 Deg F. Prepare a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper long enough that there is a 2 inch overhang on each sides ( for lifting the bars out once done baking) and lightly spray the parchment.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut. Beat on low until combined. Add the butter and beat on low until the dough comes together, about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer dough to prepared pan and spread the dough out evenly to the edges using a tart tamper ( or in my case a cocktail muddler) and or your hands. Place a sheet of parchment over the dough and fill with pie weights. If you don’t have pie weights you can use rice or dried beans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until crust is golden brown. Carefully remove the parchment filled with the pie weights and cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Keep oven on.
If making same day go ahead and continue on to the next steps immediately. Check notes for making these over two days.
Filling and finishing the bars:
While the crust is baking make the streusel. Pulse the macadamia nuts and coconut together in a food processor. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl and add in the cold butter cubes. Rub the dry ingredients into the butter until the mixture is crumbly and looks like coarse meal with some pieces pea sized. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When the crust is baked top with the jam then cover with the streusel. Break up any large streusel clumps with hands. Bake again for another 25 to 30 minutes until jam is bubbly and streusel is golden brown.
Cool bars in pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, or until the streusel topping feels firm. Run a knife along the edges to loosen then carefully lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment overhang as handles (this might take two people to carefully lift so the bars don’t break) and place on a cutting board. Slice into 20 pieces (about 2 ¼ to 2 ½ inch rectangles), and serve. The pie bars can be stored in a resealable bag or airtight container up to 2 days.
These would be amazing served warm with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.
To make these pie bars over two days make the pie crust the first day. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. Make the streusel the first day and keep refrigerated until the next day. In Michelle’s instructions in her book she has making the streusel the second day which works as well. I prefer to make it a day ahead of time to keep it super chilled.
One the second day of making the bars, preheat the oven to 350 Deg again, reheat the pie crust for 5 minutes then removed from oven and spread the jam over the pre-baked pie crust then top with the streusel topping. Return to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Follow directions stated above once the bars are done baking.
These bars originally call for a seedless jam of choice. If you would like to make these as is stated in the original recipe swap the mango pineapple jam for a jam of your choosing, omit the coconut in the crust and streusel as well as the macadamia nuts. No need to swap them with any other ingredients.