Anyone else out there who feels like apricots are Summer’s most underrated fruit?! Maybe I’m alone over here on team apricot, but I feel like they are constantly outshone by their peach and nectarine counterparts. If you’re anything like I used to be, you probably associate the taste of apricots with the extra sweet dried fruit version you can find in most conventional grocery stores. I have nothing against dried fruit, but I’ve now realized it just can’t compare to the perfectly sweet, yet tart, taste of a ripe apricot in July. There is one thing I do think is better than fresh apricots, though, and that would be fresh apricot jam! Hence, the inspiration behind these absolutely decadent and fruit-filled Vegan Apricot Jam Crumble Bars.
Okay, I’m ready to switch to team apricot: Jump to Recipe
A few months back I made cara cara orange jam and was instantly hooked on how easy and fun it is to make jam at home. There’s something magical about turning slightly bitter fruit like oranges and apricots into a sweet jam. Plus, there’s the added bonus of essentially being able to make your fruit last past it’s prime season. The best part of this recipe? It’s an easy 1:1 swap with any other jam you might be wanting to bake with. I’m obviously biased and feel apricot jam is the best choice, but I 100% plan on trying this recipe with the raspberry and passion-fruit jam I have in my fridge later this summer.
The first time I made this recipe, I didn’t bake the bottom layer of the bars for the first 10 minutes separately and the results were not nearly as good. The bottom layer of the dough ended up being a bit undercooked and soft. While I certainly don’t ever say no to cookie dough in desserts, it didn’t really work for this recipe, so definitely don’t miss the step of that initial bake of the bottom layer.
If you do attempt to make your own jam, one thing to note about jam making is that it can really vary by batch! I’ve tried this recipe a few times and each time the volume of jam I end up differs slightly. I wish I had the jam making knowledge to tell you exactly why, but I can let you know that the very best apricot jam happened the time I made it with very ripe and soft apricots vs. slightly under-ripe ones. I also know that, compared to jam made with citrus fruit, apricot jam takes longer to get to it’s setting point (around 20-30 minutes) and therefore there is more time for water to evaporate from the fruit. This could very likely be what is leading to different results in the quantity of jam I get each time. Also, because apricots naturally contain less pectin than citrus fruits, be prepared to have a runnier jam. It still will hold it’s shape nicely, but will be very spreadable. I know a way to combat this is to add pectin to your jam, but I personally haven’t tried making jam with pectin yet so I can’t speak to that method in detail. Most importantly, don’t overcook the jam! I’ve done this before and it essentially turns into a hard candy if the sugar is caramelized and won’t be spreadable. You also don’t want to cook the jam for too long else all the fruit will break down and the best jam has some chunks of apricot mixed in.
If you’re really looking for some some more help before starting your jam making journey, I found this article by The Kitchn to be especially helpful!
I really hope you enjoy these Vegan Apricot Jam Crumble Bars! I know they’re a favorite in my house right now, and I’ve already been requested to bring them to several parties coming up. I usually bring extra treats to my office to share and was even told by my boyfriend that I need to keep these bars at home so he can eat them all, so I promise they are good! As always, I’d love to hear from you how they turn out. Connecting with you all is the best part of creating recipes for this blog and I love to hear what you loved or adapted to make this recipe perfect for you. Happy Summer Baking!
In case you are looking for some of the tools & ingredients used in this recipe, I’ve put a few of my favorites for you here:
- Per usual, I baked these goodies with my favorite brand of flour, but this time using Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour. I promise, not sponsored, just seriously their biggest fan!
- If you ever come to my house, you will laugh over the ridiculously large tubs of coconut oil I buy. For some of my baked goods, like these bars, I don’t want that strong coconut taste so I opt for refined coconut oil and especially love Nutiva Organic.
- Wondering where to get in season produce that is also helping to reduce food waste? You’ve heard me mention them before, and now I officially have partnered with Imperfect Produce to offer you their best discount yet. Use code “SGTO” at checkout for 50% off your first order. Get your apricots from them for this recipe!