From the very first moment I picked up Tartine All Day, I liked it a whole lot. My initial flip was at my local cookbook shop and after just a moment or two with the book, I raised my head and said to the owner, Jill, “I want to make everything in this book.” Were I an emoji, I would have been the one with hearts for eyes.
The thing that speaks to me so much in this book is that it is offers both easy, everyday things you can make with the things already in your fridge, along with the fun project cooking you might trot out on a unscheduled Sunday. Plus, there are a handful of approachable recipes for jams and pickles. Author Elisabeth Prueitt seems to really understand how many of us cook.
For those of you who pay attention to the world of cookbooks (or live in the San Francisco Bay Area), you will have heard of Tartine. It’s a cafe-turned-brand that has spawned multiple books, locations, and much frenzy among the food-loving set. However, unlike previous volumes, this book isn’t about recreating restaurant food. It’s about the cooking we do at home.
Because I knew that this was a book I wanted to write about, I reached out to the PR folks handling its publicity. They sent me a review copy and gave me permission to share a recipe from the book. I made a few suggestions and together we settled on the Jam Bars. Because a another method for using up jam is always (ALWAYS!) welcome.
This recipe functions in the same way most other jam bars do. You make a simple, crumbly dough, press about two-thirds into the bottom of the pan, spread it generously with jam and then scatter the remaining bits on top.
However, the beauty of this particular jam bar is in the details. Elisabeth offers gram measurements along with the cups, so you can plunk your bowl down on a scale and heap in your ingredients without dirtying lots of measuring cups. The dough is built in a single bowl. And she uses a combination of vanilla and almond extracts to flavor the base, which is somehow so much more delicious than a jam bar with just vanilla.
Another clever element is that she has you mix up the jam with some lemon juice and salt. This helps temper the sweetness of the finished cookie, and also helped thin out the jar of slightly overset jam I used nicely.
I’ll confess that I didn’t follow the directions perfectly. I used cashew butter rather than almond, because I have a jar I’ve been endeavoring to use up. And I somehow I managed to top the jam with an even layer of cookie dough, rather than scattering it prettily (it was just before dinner and I was hungry). But even with that small substitution and smaller error, they are still quite delicious (they’ll be going with me to a picnic tomorrow, so that I don’t end up eating them all).
If you feel moved to make a batch of Jam Bars from Tartine All Day, the recipe is below.
- 1/2 cup/110g unsalted butter or coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup/85g almond butter
- 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup or maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups/150g rolled oats
- 1 cup/120g almond flour
- 1 cup/120g oat flour (grind rolled oats in your blender or food processor)
- 6 Tbsp/90g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp/340g jam
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Line a 9 by 13-inch/23 by 33cm baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the butter or coconut oil, almond butter, and brown rice syrup or maple syrup in a large bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix well.
- Add the rolled oats, almond flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, and cinnamon to the butter mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into thirds. Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and reserve the remaining one-third for the topping.
- Stir together the jam, lemon juice, and salt and then spread the mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
- Crumble the remaining one-third dough over the jam filling.
- Bake the jam bars until golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes. Let the pastry cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
- The jam bars will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Every year when there’s a surfeit of jam in my pantry, I quickly run through the best ways to use it: with popovers, on toast, in yogurt, as a layer in trifles or cakes, and in these jam bars. With the three jams and an apple butter in this book, you have a lot of options. The combination of rice syrup and almond butter make these bars less sweet, with a toothsome, more substantial savory quality than most other versions, which are more often than not merely sweet cookie dough made even sweeter with jam.
“Reprinted with permission from Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook by Elisabeth Prueitt, copyright © 2017. Published by Lorena Jones Books/Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.” Photography credit: Paige Green © 2017