The first time I tested this recipe, I tried using only fresh blackberries and they were good yet frustratingly a bit too sour. Terrific with ice cream, of course, but not perfect on their own. Enter blackberry jam. The combination of fresh, tart berries with sweet jam nestled into the buttery dough allowed the bars to stand deliciously alone. Not that you should hold back from adding a scoop to this version – I’ve never met a crisp, cobbler, or crumble that didn’t love a creamy counterpart.
On a side note, I’m over the moon about my new Jill Rosenwald plaid dinner plates, pictured above. I’ve been a fan and collector of her ceramics for years now. All handmade and hand-painted, her work checks all the boxes for me. It’s elegant yet unfussy, classic yet fresh. And though her pieces look stunning sitting on a shelf or in a china cabinet, they make whatever you put on them or in them look that much better.
Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (finely ground almond meal)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 12-ounce jar blackberry jam (I like Stonewall Kitchen brand)
6 ounces fresh blackberries, cut in half crosswise
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 11 inch pan with a sheet of parchment paper, allowing paper to hang over the two long sides of pan.
Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, brown sugar, cardamom, and kosher salt. Pour melted butter over flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
Place 1/3 of dough in a small bowl and set aside. Press remaining 2/3 dough into parchment lined pan with your fingers, creating an even layer. Pour jam into pan and spread evenly over dough, leaving a bit of room around the edges so it doesn’t stick to pan. Sprinkle sliced blackberries across the jam layer.
Crumble the sliced almonds a bit with your fingers and add to the small bowl of reserved dough. Stir to combine, then crumble mixture evenly over blackberries with your hands.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden. Set pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Run a knife along short edges of pan to loosen. Cut into twelve bars and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.