Cinnamon-Pear Jam and Cherry Bars

September 13, 2012

I collect jams the way squirrels collect acorns. Frenzied, breathless, and at random. Sometimes I actually spread them on toast.

The lucky jams get to be reincarnated into something sweet and scrumptious! (I need to find an alternate to the word 'scrumptious.') One day, a pear-cinnamon jam stood out among all the other jars and asked if it could be made into something buttery...something lightly spiced...something perfect for cozying up with as we watch the tippity tops of the trees start to change colour.

So I made these bars.

They're simple, basic, jam bars.

I don't think I'll ever get sick of simple, basic, jam bars.

The cherries were more of an afterthought. They add a splash of much-needed colour, along with a sweet reminiscent burst of summer. Please feel free to switch things up a bit by using different jams! If you go with something red, you may not even need to accessorize with cherries. ;)

On a side note, my camera and I are on the verge of a breakthrough. We're *this* close to enjoying each other's company. It's still a slippery slope, so please pretend that you didn't hear any of this from me...I'm just putting it out a tentative olive branch.

The new found camera-kinship is quite an adventurous frontier. It's allowing me to snap pics in my dark, northerly-lit, dungeon-esque kitchen. Which means I get to use this gorgeous table as a backdrop. Finally! My fear is that I'll use it too much and get sick of it. Or even worse, you will get sick of looking at it.

Please don't.

At least not until I've relished a bit longer in this awkward love affair that I'm having with my p & s camera. ♥

Cinnamon-Pear Jam, and Cherry Bars
makes about 10-12 slices/bars

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup tightly packed, light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into bits
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten (cold)
3/4 cup of your favourite jam (I used cinnamon-pear)
about 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and sliced in half

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with foil and butter lightly. {Note: I used a buttered 10-inch Pyrex pie plate because I was out of foil.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cold butter bits and egg yolk. Use a pastry cutter to work the butter and yolk into the dry ingredients until you're left with a crumbly mixture. (The crumbs don't need to be uniform in size...random is good.)
Set aside about 2 cups of the crumbly mixture. Press the remaining mixture into prepared pan.

If the jam is stiff, give it a good stir to loosen everything up. Spread 3/4 cup of jam over the crumb mixture that you just pressed into the pan, leaving a 1/2-inch bare border around the edges. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top of the jam. {Note: Because I used a shallow pie plate, I had some left over crumb mixture. Anything that's left can be covered and refrigerated for about 2 days. It would be wonderful on pies!)
Dot the pan with the cherry halves. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the crust is just beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan. Remove pan from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack.

Cool completely before slicing. 


  1. Those look really good! Bars are always so irresistible. A droolworthy combination.



  2. I love jam, I can never get enough of it! Let me loose in a gourmet food store and it's a dangerous thing :). Beautiful bars and now I'm craving jam!

  3. Your jam bars look wonderful. And I love the cherries on top; they're such a pretty touch. Now all I have to do is find a jar of cinnamon-pear jam.

  4. I'm so with you on the collecting jams thing, I can't help myself! I love the look of these bars, and the fact that I could swap out different fruits and jams all fall and winter long!

  5. Hi Valerie, I have the similar love affair but with cherries, I just can't have enough of it: sour, sweet, dried, frozen, canned, you name it... And anything that has cherries in it is a winner to me! :)
    Funny you've mentioned your relationships with your camera as just a few hours ago I was sitting on the floor in my living room, absolutely hopeless because I couldn't get an image I wanted (after three hours of endless shooting, moving setting around, etc...) I do love your photos, they have personality... :)

  6. Bonjour Valérie!
    Je suis ton blog depuis environ deux ans et je l'adore. Tes photos sont de plus en plus belles. Merci pour les recettes :)

  7. I need to get with the program and start making jam bars! I keep saying I'm going to bake bars on the weekend, but something always comes up! By the way, great idea with the cherries on the bar! They made it pop! Pun intended, hehe!

  8. Bonjour, Ariane! Merci beaucoup, C'est (vraiment) gentil de ta part! :)

  9. I don't keep jam around, honestly. I have a bad habit of eating it with a spoon! But the cinnamon pear jam sounds amazing and I bet it's lovely in these bars!

  10. Shut the front door these look amazing!! I love jam, too - can't seem to get enough!

  11. Congratulations, your bars look so tempting!

  12. These bars look fantastic and the photos look gorgeous as well (love the last one!) ;)

    I'm not a huge jam fan, but I do sometimes find myself buying jam and wondering how/why I'll ever use it. The next time I find myself in that position, I'll definitely make these.

  13. that cinnamon pear jam sounds heavenly and such a good idea to use it in these bars, so delicious and gorgeous!

  14. These looks seriously good and your photos reflect your current state of love for the camera.

  15. When my kids were still home, I had tons of jams in the pantry. Now, not so many. :(
    But I adore jam bars as much as you do, Valerie. Love that you've combined those lovely dark cherries with pears.

  16. I love jam in dessert!! Wonderful!


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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