These crumbly oatmeal bars are buttery with just the right amount of sweetness, and layered with a tangy, fresh blackberry jam. And best yet, they’re super easy to put together.
First, you make the blackberry jam. If you can’t find or don’t like blackberries, sub out some blueberries, raspberries or even strawberries. Frozen fruit would work too, but fresh is best. The jam is a cinch. Berries, sugar and salt cooked down. Lemon at the end. Done.
While the jam cools down, it’s time to put together the crumb part. It’s kind of like making shortbread. Cut in some cold butter into the dry ingredients until you get a crumbly mixture. I flavored the crumbs with cinnamon, nutmeg and some lemon zest to make things extra tasty. It’s important to prebake the bottom crust to keep things from getting soggy. Once the crust cools, spread over the jam, sprinkle the remaining crumbs and you’re 30 minutes away from some delightful blackberry crumb bars.
I definitely would categorize these bars as dessert. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t also eat them first thing in the morning :). I think these would be awesome for a get together or just for an anytime, summertime dessert.
- 1 ½ lb (5 cups) blackberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups AP flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Zest of half a lemon
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes, chilled
- Preheat oven and prep pan: Heat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with butter, line with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides, and grease again.
- Make jam: Add blackberries, sugar and salt to a nonstick pot. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until juices thicken and become syrupy. Keep in mind that jam will continue to thicken upon cooling. Transfer to a bowl and cool over a wire rack.
- Mix crumbs: In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, spices and zest. Toss in butter. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. The crumbs should stay together when pressed.
- Prebake crust: Add ⅔ of crumb mixture to the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Put remaining crumbs in the fridge. Press crumbs into a compact even layer. Bake 14-16 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
- Finish baking: Spread jam over cooled crust. Sprinkle over remaining crumbs. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve: Lift sides of parchment to remove bars from pan. Remove and discard parchment. Cut into 16 squares (I cut into 9 for photos) and serve.