When nine opened jars of jams and jellies are staring at you every time you open the fridge, you know you’ve got a problem. It started innocently enough – some were home-made, some were purchased, some were gifts. But before you knew it, the jars were taking over a half shelf in the fridge and something had to be done. That’s where these almond jam bars come in.
I bookmarked the recipe a while ago from Sara’s Kitchen, a blog whose creator is taking a little break right now, but I hope will be back to blogging soon.
With all those jam and jelly jars in the fridge, this seemed like a good way to use up at least one of them. Let’s see – which to choose? apricot jam? mixed berry jam? blackberry jam? fig jam? cherry jam? blood orange jam? violet jelly? lemon jelly? pepper jelly?
In the end I used the very delicious and high quality cherry jam that someone had given me from Le Pain Quotidien, but stirred in a couple of tablespoons of brandy to temper the sweetness somewhat. I would advise using a jam, not jelly (particularly not pepper jelly) since the chunks of fruit from the jams help to keep things a little more solid and add some texture too.
Almond Jam Bars
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking dish
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup fruit jam, such as cherry, plum, or raspberry (I used 3/4 cup cherry preserves)
- 2 T. brandy, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg yolk. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in almonds.
- In a small bowl, whisk jam to loosen. (Stirring the jam with a fork or a whisk will enable it to spread smoothly over the dough.) Add 2 T. brandy (optional). Gently press half of dough into bottom of prepared dish. With the back of a spoon, gently spread jam over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border so the jam doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. Sprinkle remaining dough over top all the way to the edges; press gently to form top layer.
- Bake until top is golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely in dish. Cut into bars with a serrated knife.