Jammy Fruit Bars

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Jammy Fruit Bars

June!

Nectarines

“The green lasted on the hills far into June before the grass turned yellow. The heads of the wild oats were so heavy with seed that they hung over on their stalks. The little springs trickled on late in the summer. The range cattle staggered under their fat and their hides shone with health. It was a year when the people of the Salinas Valley forgot the dry years.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

Nectarines

I love June. The explosion of summer fruit has arrived! Peaches, nectarines and plums, I want them all. Melons, grapes, cherries and berries, it’s so good. This is a perfect recipe to use up an overabundance of seasonal fruit and any jars of last years’ jam. No one will have a clue that you are cleaning out the pantry with these lush bar cookies. This is such a no-fail recipe. I’ve made strawberry with strawberry jam, apricot with apricot jam and for this batch, nectarines with apricot jam. I really want to try plum with plum jam and a batch with mixed fruit, maybe apricot and peach. Baking with ripe, seasonal fruit doesn’t get any better than these Jammy Fruit Bars.

Essentials

Making Jammy Fruit Bars

This recipe makes a big, big batch of crunchy topped, jam and fruit filled bars. The recipe is adapted from this Epicurious recipe. The genius of this recipe is using both jam and fresh fruit for the filling. Lemon juice adds interest to the sweet jammy filling. Updating the recipe with browned butter and malted milk powder makes for an intensely flavored crust and topping. There is not enough malted milk power to notice, just enough to deepen the flavor of the browned butter. Toasted sliced almonds and a sprinkle of demerara sugar add a pleasing crunch to the topping. These Jammy Fruit Bars are quite irresistible.

Crust and Topping
9oz unsalted butter
2-1/4C all-purpose flour
3/4C white, whole wheat flour
1/2C sugar
1/2C brown sugar
1/3C malted milk powder
1t baking powder
1t fine grain sea salt
1 egg
1/2C sliced almonds, toasted is best
3T demerara sugar
Fruit Filling
16oz fruit jam, apricot
4C ripe fruit, cut in small pieces, nectarines
2T lemon juice
2T cornstarch
  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with parchment.
  2. Prepare the browned butter by melting the butter in a saucepan or skillet with a light colored or shiny interior on medium heat. At first the butter may sputter for a bit as the milk solids cook. Gently swirl the pan until the milk solids are a warm toasty brown at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flours, sugars, malted milk powder, baking powder and sea salt. Make sure there are no lumps of malted milk powder or brown sugar. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and pour in all the browned butter. Scrape the pan clean, adding all the browned butter and toasted milk solids to the bowl. Return the bowl to the stand mixer and mix the ingredients together. When the butter is thoroughly incorporated into the dry ingredients add the egg to the bowl and mix again, just until the egg is incorporated into the dough. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator while making the fruit filling.
  4. In a large saucepan add all the filling ingredients, jam, fruit, lemon juice and cornstarch. Cook briefly on medium heat, stirring until thickened and no visible traces of cornstarch remain. Do not bring to a boil.
  5. Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into the prepared baking pan. Make sure the dough in the corners and edges are of the same thickness as the middle of the pan. Pour the filling on top of the crust and spread evenly across the surface of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 dough across the top of the jam. Top with the sliced almonds and demerara sugar. Bake for 45 minutes or until the jam is bubbling up through the topping and the bars are a toasty brown on top. To cut into bars, let cool for two hours, until the pan is cool to touch. The bars can be eaten while warm, if scooped and served like cobbler.

Jammy Fruit Bars

Jammy Fruit Bars

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24 Responses to Jammy Fruit Bars

  1. I LOVE jam bars Deb! Happy to have another version to try, especially since you chose my two favorite fruit flavors to highlight in your recipe.

  2. I so agree – June and all the gorgeous fruit and berries is such a treat. These bars are my kind of dessert: sweet, golden, buttery, simply irresistible!

  3. Just to look at them makes my mouth water. It is as pretty as a sunshine too. Love apricot!

  4. I now know what to do with my apricot jam that I made this week. You always come up with the most interesting ingredients. I have to ask Google about malted milk powder. Your bars look fruity and delicious.

  5. Andy Segal says:

    It looks so good, Deb. Can’t wait to try the recipe with peaches or nectarines. I am ready for all of the juicy summer fruits – can’t pick a favorite since they are all so good.

    Enjoy the season
    Andy

  6. Oh my gosh, these look absolutely dreamy, Deb! I love this time of year, too. I’ll never get too much fresh fruit in my life :). Have a great week!

  7. Cathy says:

    Ooh, that does look so good Deb! I’ll have mine with some vanilla ice cream please! 😉 Love the idea of mixing the fruit with jam for added sweetness. 🙂

  8. Love summer fruit! So much and so many varieties — I want them all! These jam bars are a terrific idea — great way to use the season’s bounty. Thanks!

  9. This is gorgeous fruit bar. I can’t wait to have all the abundant summer fruits to make this. Lovely!

  10. mjskit says:

    What perfect timing! I make 5 jars of apricot jam today and still have 10 pounds of apricots sitting on the countertop. What a great use of both. Looks fabulous!

  11. Deb, these look so summery! I’m a big fan of June too, mainly for the fruits: We’re swimming in a huge variety of melons right now in the midwest, and it’s glorious. These sound super tempting, as our nectarines (a personal favorite in the stone fruit family) are looking perfect as well.

  12. These fruits bars are so palatable! Love them!

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