It is summer time and with that comes a strong desire to create fruit filled desserts. I am constantly on the hunt to find recipes that are easy and delicious. This strawberry jam bar recipe is both super simple and will be loved by even the most pickiest of eaters.
The best part about this recipe is that it can be altered to incorporate any jam flavor. The most notable substitutes would be blueberry, apricot, raspberry, cherry or blackberry. For an even more summer time appropriate dessert, lemon curd or orange preserves could be used.
I do find with this recipe that the quality of the jam makes a difference in the taste and consistency of the jam bar. It is best to use a jam or preserve that contains all natural ingredients and preferably no added sugar. Sometimes these jams are harder to find, but it is worth the extra effort to hunt them out as they make the bars go from great to amazing.
By definition this recipe creates a shortbread type bar. A lot of jam bar recipes have an oatmeal crumble top that defers from the bottom layer crust. In this recipe, the bottom crust is the same butter crust that is used as the bar topping. This makes for a smaller ingredient list and fewer steps.
Strawberry Jam Bars
3 sticks unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and butter together until creamy. Slowly add flour and salt to the sugar mixture. Stir together until dough ball forms. Divide dough in half. Wrap and store half of the dough in the refrigerator. Use the other half of the dough to line the bottom of the greased pan.
Bake crust in the oven for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and spread strawberry jam over the crust. Crumble the remaining refrigerated dough over the jam layer. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool prior to cutting into bars.