Welcoming a rye smile

jen's splash

RECIPE: Rye blueberry crumble bars.

Sometimes life is rickety. It’s not always like those endless, happy Facebook newsfeeds. Those ones that echo picture-perfect holiday card letters—all year round.

There were layoffs at my office last week. People who had worked for 9, 10, 19 years for a nonprofit cause they believed in.  Positions a tight budget can’t support any longer.

So I did the only thing I can do.


I’ve long had this Orangette recipe bookmarked: rye flour used to make a shortbread base, a crumble topping and jam in between. It truly is divine. No cutting (healthy) corners on this one. I delivered it in lovely slices to coworkers. (This and cookies, too.)

(And no, I didn’t cause an oven fire like the last time I used this pan.)

In a nonprofit like ours, coworkers are family. And to see them prepare to go? Wrenching. I only hope I’ve embraced their lessons and guidance along the way. And I know I’m a better person for having worked with such brilliant, kind individuals.

RECIPE RATING: 5 of 5 glasses of morning tea and a toast to life transitions. The bars are guaranteed to bring a smile, which — given the circumstance some times — is an incredible thing.

Rye berry crumble bars
5.0 from 1 reviews
Author: Jen
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 40 mins
Total time: 2 hours 25 mins
Serves: null
From Orangette: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2012/03/best-part-of-job.html Who credits her recipe adaptation from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce
  • Shortbread crust:
  • 65 grams (½ cup) dark rye flour
  • 120 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams (1/3 cup) dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 113 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Crumble:
  • 100 grams (1 cup) rolled oats
  • 32 grams (3 Tbsp.) dark brown sugar
  • 52 grams (¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp.) dark rye flour
  • 30 grams (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 38 grams (3 Tbsp.) sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 85 grams (6 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Middle:
  • 350 ml (1 ½ cups) jam, preserves, or fruit butter
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. SHORTBREAD CRUST: Combine the flours, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, and whisk. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract, and stir until thoroughly combined. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes, while you make the crumble topping.
  3. CRUMBLE: Put all the crumble ingredients except the melted butter into the bowl and mixl. Add the melted butter and stir with your hands, squeezing the mixture as you stir to create small crumbly bits. Set aside.
  4. BACK TO SHORTBREAD: Bake the shortbread until pale brown and firm when touched, about 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven, and raise the oven temperature to 350°F.
  5. ASSEMBLE: Spread the jam over the shortbread crust, and then top with the crumble, evenly sprinkling it over the surface.
  6. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  7. When the pan is cool enough to handle but still warm, run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen any jam that may have stuck. Remove the ring. Completely cool the bars on the pan base before cutting into wedges.


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One Response to Welcoming a rye smile

  1. Ken says:

    An excellent dish for excellent people.

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