German Baking: Eisenbahnschitten (Almond Cream Jam Bars)
From Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss.
Serves: about 50 bars.
  • 4 cups (500 g) scooped and leveled all purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups (150 g) confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 21 tablespoons (300 g) unsalted high fat, European-style butter, softened, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (175 g) apricot jam
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (175 g) redcurrant jelly
  • 12½ ounces (360 g) almond paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted high fat, European-style butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
For the crust:
  1. Place flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter to the bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients. As you go, add the egg, grated lemon peel, and water. Alternatively, you can combine these in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  2. Mix dough just until it comes together and becomes relatively smooth. Divide into 2 equal pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour minimum and up to 1 day.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9"x13" baking pan (or a half size baking sheet) with parchment paper, letting the sides hang over the edges.
  4. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll out to a roughly 9" x 13" rectangle. Prick the dough all over with a fork and then, using a sharp knife, score it lightly into 4 strips lengthwise. Do not cut all the way through.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the dough is golden brown. Remove pan from oven and immediately cut through the base at the score marks to make 4 strips. Let pan cool for 10 minutes on a rack and then, using the parchment paper as sling, pull the crust off the pan and let finish cooling on the rack.
  6. Bake the second piece of dough the same way so you have 8 strips of crust total. Place strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it is smooth and liquid. Brush about half of the hot jam over 2 of the crust strips. Place 2 crust strips over the jam-topped ones. Repeat with the redcurrant jelly, so you have 2 apricot bars and 2 redcurrant bars total.
For the topping:
  1. Grate almond paste on the large holes of a box grater or break up into small pieces with your hands and place in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  2. Add in honey, confectioners' sugar, butter, salt, and egg whites. Beat until combined, smooth and creamy but still thick - do not overbeat and let it become too soft and liquidy.
  3. Scrape into pastry bag fitted with small star tip (I used Ateco 604).
  4. Pipe a border of topping all around the top of each jam bar, leaving the center empty.
  5. Reheat the remaining jams. Spoon them into the centers of each jam bar between the piped lines of topping.
  6. Preheat the broiler. Place baking sheet under the broiler to brown the ridges of the topping. This takes about 3-4 minutes, so keep a very close eye and don't walk away - the topping can burn very quickly. Rotate every 45 seconds as needed. Let bars cool on rack.
  7. When bars are completely cool slice each one crosswise into 1 inch pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by Dessert First at