Monday, October 12, 2009

In A Jam

Sept. 2009 215

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.

Sept. 2009 216

Recipe from Sara’s Kitchen, who got it from a  Martha Stewart recipe

printable recipe here

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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake until top is golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely in dish. Cut into bars with a serrated knife.

almond jam bars, Sara's Kitchen, Martha Stewart


  1. I too, have a million jars of preserves in the fridge (2 from you!!)....luckily I make a peanut and jelly sandwich for my husband's snack everyday!

  2. so when I need inspiration to clean out the fridge I'll just remember this recipe! Thanks!

  3. These look like a delicious way to use up some jam Linda! I have a big jar of blackberry jam my husband bought at Coscto and when I open it I'll try this recipe.

    PS: I am so angry Met Director Gleb is slowly doing away with all the Zeffirelli productions. I'm sure they are expensive but they set the bar for the most exquisite opera scenes ever seen. I am going to La Boheme this season as I fear it may be the last year for it's Zeffirelli set. What a tragedy!

  4. My hard luck, the invasion of the jam jars is never a problem for us, but then we are downright shameless when it comes to mascarpone and jam on toast almost every morning. You mentioned violet jelly? Never heard, but it sounds delicious!

  5. Glad you liked them, I wish I had some right now :)

  6. These look so good! Since I moved I got rid of my toaster, so no more toast so my jam needs a home now! So this would be a great recipe. Nice photo, too! Thanks!

  7. Thinking about making this delicious looking recipe with huckleberry jam. Only problem is we need to make the jam first!

  8. My frig is overloaded with jam jars, another great idea Linda. I hope Sara returns, she has a great blog.

  9. Yum! That's a more than delicious way to use up jam leftover...

  10. Lot's of jams in your fridge. I usually only keep on jars. Those bars look like the perfect treat to make with all of the jams. Looks delish.

  11. what a wonderfully great idea. I think I have about 1/2 dozen jars of jam in my fridge right now LOL

  12. That looks delish!! I would love to wash some of that jam down, with a good cup of coffee!!