These simple, summery Cherry Vanilla Crumble Bars are the perfect combination of warming vanilla cookie flavors and bright cherry notes! Perfect as an addition to your high tea, or an after-dinner dessert!
Homemade Cherry Chia Jam:
1 1/2 cups pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup oats + 1/2 cup oats (separated)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup banana flour, or other flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon maca powder (optional but tasty)
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
Hefty pinch of salt
Cherry Chia Jam:
Add the cherries, water, lemon juice, sweetener, and vanilla to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer at medium low heat for about 30 minutes until the water has thickened and the jam has reached your desired consistency.
It’s up to you to make your jam as chunky or smooth as desired. To make it chunky, I left the cherries as whole as they were after pitting them and used an immersion blender briefly at the end of cooking to slightly bring together the jam. If you want it to be entirely smooth, then I recommend blending the cherries beforehand and then cooking them in the same way. Note that the cooking time might be a little longer when blended.
Once the jam is finished, stir in the chia seeds and transfer to a sterilised jar. You’ll end up with about a 3/4 cup of jam.
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Add all the ingredients except for 1/2 cup oats and 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup, and mix using a hand mixer. It should come together as a moist dough, without being sticky.
Now take about 2/3 of the dough and press into a baking tin or tray. The smaller the tray, the thicker the bars will be. Then layer the Cherry Chia Jam on top, I found 1/2 cup to be enough.
Add the 1/2 cup oats and 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup to the remaining dough in the mixing bowl and mix together well. This will be the crumble layer so you can loosely layer it over the Cherry Chia Jam without pushing it down into place.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
You can also use a ready-made jam, or make another type of jam using a different type of fresh or frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)