This recipe is FAST, everyone. Fast also means easy clean-up, in my book. I don’t like super sugary foods, and these jam bars fit the bill. I used blueberry jam because it’s my favorite, but of course you could use blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, apricot, or any other jam flavor you can think of. The blueberry jam I purchased was low-sugar, and just sweetened with fruit juice. I am always afraid of making things too sweet, and I would definitely recommend using low-sugar or no sugar added jam for baking. These jam bars have been a great afternoon snack with a cup of tea for me, but I could see these being served for breakfast or brunch, as well. As always, the bars are gluten-free and nut-free. The next time I make them, I’ll use strawberry jam so that my daughter gets to eat her favorite flavor, too!
It only took a a few seconds to gather the simple ingredients for the recipe, and I only needed to use one bowl. Into the bowl, I combined gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Like I said, super simple!
The next step is to add the wet ingredients to form a crumbly dough. To the same bowl, I added unsweetened applesauce and just a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Besides being easy, this recipe is pretty healthy, as you can see, with limited ingredients. The dough was wet and crumbly, but held together nicely.
I sprayed an 8 inch square pan with cooking spray, and then poured most of the mixture into the pan. In my bowl, I still had a heaping 1/3 cup of the dough mixture left. I pressed with my fingers until the bottom of the pan was covered with dough. It wasn’t a super thick layer, however.
This is how much dough I still kept in my bowl:
On top of the pressed dough, I poured about 3/4 of a cup of low-sugar blueberry jam. I spread it around in a nice layer with a butter knife, until it was well-covered. If you could not find a no sugar added jam or low sugar jam, you may not want to spread as much jam (it could get quite sweet). Then, I took the last bit of dough (the 1/3 cup) left in my bowl and sprinkled it on top.
The jam bars went into a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. I pulled them out just as the top was turning golden brown and the jam was bubbling.
Although it was difficult, I waited until the jam bars were fully cooled, and then I cut them into 12 rectangles. The flavor of the jam really shines through when you take a bite, and the bottom dough is nice and chewy. Clean up took 3 minutes since it was just one bowl and a few measuring cups. Enjoy!
Fast Gluten-Free Jam Bars
• 1 cup of gluten-free flour blend (needs to contain xanthan gum already)
• 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
• ¼ cup of brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon of salt
• ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg
• ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce
• 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
• ¾ cup of jam of preference – blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, etc.
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine gluten-free flour, gluten-free oats, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg. Add the applesauce and oil to the mixture, and mix until a dough-like consistency. Spray with cooking spray, an 8 inch square pan. Press about 3/4 of the dough mixture into the bottom of the pan, until the surface is covered with a thin layer of dough. Reserve the remaining mixture in the bowl for later (should have about a heaping 1/3 cup of dough left). Spread jam across the pressed dough until covering the surface. Sprinkle the reserved dough from the bowl on top of the jam. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees until top is browned. Cool before slicing into 12 rectangles.