Spiced Plum Jam Bars

Can you believe that I have never made jam bars before? With all of the canning I do, you would think that they’d be a regular in my kitchen, but I only just recently decided to give them a try. And, let me tell you… I am glad that I did!

Over the summer, we got quite a few plums from our fruit CSA.  One evening I spied this recipe for Spiced Plum Jam on Simple Bites, and I decided to give it a shot. Both my hubby and I really loved the flavor, so I’ve made 3 more batches since!

Let’s just say I have a few jars of jam in my pantry now.  So, it seemed only natural that I should finally try my hand at making some jam bars.  I always love seeing them on the dessert table at a potluck. There’s just something about the crumbly topping and the sweet jammy filling that I really love. They always seemed like they would be complicated to me, though. I’m not really sure what I was thinking. These ones are quite simple, actually.  The bottom crust and the crumble topping are the same, so there’s no need to whip up a bunch of different layers.  Simply make the crumble mixture in your food processor, and you’ll have the bars in the oven in a matter of minutes. The hardest part is letting them cool!

Of course, if you don’t have any plum jam on hand, you can still whip up a batch of these simple bars.  Just use any flavor of jam or preserves that you like.  Fall flavors will work especially well with the spices in the crumble mixture… I’m dreaming up a few more batches made with homemade cranberry sauce and some Amaretto Apple Preserves.

Spiced Plum Jam Bars
Makes one 8 by 8-inch pan, about 16 servings

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup spiced plum jam

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish, and set aside.

Combine the flour, rolled oats, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Cut the butter into chunks and add to the food processor.  Pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles wet sand with a few pieces of butter still visible.

Press about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish to form the bottom crust of the bars.  Spread the jam on top of the crust.  Sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture.  Bake for about 25 – 26 minutes, until the topping is golden.

Let the bars cool completely (for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours) before cutting into squares.

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