These delicious and simple to make Blueberry Jam and Hazelnut Bars are made with homemade blueberry jam but you can make them with your favourite jam and nut!
I used to think that making homemade jam was too complicated and took too much work, but then last year I decided to look into the process of making jam. I quickly realized that if I made small batches of jam that could be consumed within a few weeks, I wouldn’t have to worry about the sterilization process to make the jars shelf stable. All I would have to do is refrigerate the jam jars and since that’s easy enough, I proceeded to make my first jam: Blueberry! I couldn’t believe how delicious it was, and all that I needed to make it was three ingredients: blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. Best of all, it only took me 25 minutes to have homemade jam that didn’t contain a ton of sugar! Since then I’ve made other jams, but my favourite remains this Low-Sugar Blueberry Jam from Ricardo (you can check out many more Ricardo Recipes on his website). I love spreading this jam on fresh bread with a piece of brie or other cheese, the jam is also excellent stirred into yogurt or on top of vanilla ice cream.
The bars came out looking great and tasted so good, the blueberry jam and hazelnuts worked perfectly in this recipe. These bars are great for dessert, but since they are light and not overly sweet they also make a great snack, and go perfectly with a hot cup of tea.
Blueberry Jam and Hazelnut Bars
These bars are made with blueberry jam and hazelnuts but you can use your favourite jam and nut combination and put your own twist on them!
For the crust and topping:
- 3 to 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup blueberry jam
- 1 cup hazelnuts nuts toasted, skinned and roughly chopped
Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper making sure to leave a few inches of paper hanging over the sides of the pan. Doing this will make it easier to lift the finished bars out of the pan.
In a medium bowl, add the flour (starting with 3 cups, add up to 1/2 cup more only at the end of the recipe if the dough is too sticky), baking powder and salt, whisk and set aside.
Melt the butter in the microwave.
In a large bowl, add the melted butter and granulated sugar. Whisk vigorously until butter and sugar are well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until egg is blended into the batter.
Add the vanilla and lemon zest and whisk into batter.
Add one third of the flour mixture and whisk to incorporate into batter, repeat with each third until all flour is mixed in.
If dough remains too sticky, go ahead and add that extra half cup of flour. Mix it in the dough and divide the dough into two portion, one just a bit larger than the other.
Keep the larger half to work with immediately and place the smaller portion in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Take golf ball size portion of dough, shape into patties and press into bottom of pan, repeat this process until the bottom is covered. Gently press down on surface to make sure that bottom is even.
Spread bottom half of dough with blueberry jam and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.
Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator, working with a bit at a time, using the large holes of a box grater, run the dough across the grater to create a crumbled topping.
Spread the topping evenly across the top of the bars.
Bake until the edges of the bars are golden, about 30 minutes. Place under the broiler for about two minutes until top is golden all across pan.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes and then pulling up on sides of parchment paper lift bars out of the pan unto cutting board and cut into evenly sized bars.
The bars can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days, or frozen for later consumption.