August 26, 2011

blackberry jam squares

This recipe brings back fond memories from my baking days in Manila when I would see a new recipe in a cookbook or magazine and would be excited to try to make it. Very similar to this was a version I tried using strawberry jam. I remember that the crust had grated cheese in it. It was an odd ingredient but I wish I kept the recipe. I remember it turned out very good. I guess the saltiness of the cheese was a good balance to the sweetness just as adding a pinch of salt in most baked goods serves as a flavor enhancer.

Friday is my baking day. My husband appreciates having a little treat to munch on with his coffee on a quiet and relaxing Saturday morning. This idea was adapted from The Book of Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley published by HP Books. It's part of the series of cookbooks that I keep going back to. I particularly like the step-by-step photos for each recipe. The recipe for Spiced Apricot Squares inspired me to make these bars with blackberry jam instead of apricot jam. For the recipe...

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup almond flour
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup blackberry jam (or more)

Line a 13" by 9" cake pan with foil. The foil will make it easier to take the cake out of the pan after baking onto a cutting board. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, almond flour, sugar and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter until evenly incorporated into the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and mix well until combined. Knead lightly and form into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Roll out half of the dough and press into the pan. Spread the jam evenly on the dough. Roll out the remaining dough and slice into strips. Arrange the strips of dough on top of the dough to form a lattice pattern. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30-40 minutes or until edges and top are lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares. Makes about 24 squares.

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