Did you know that January 23rd is National Pie Day? A fella in Boulder, Colorado declared his birthday — today — as such in the mid 1970’s. I don’t know how this man got everyone to recognize his personally declared holiday. If I could declare my birthday as a national food celebrated holiday, it’d probably be National Grandma Pizza Day. In part because I love this style of pizza… also in part of my feeling like an old lady all the damn time. 😂
(Upon further research, it appears that June 10th is already a declared food day. LAMELY it’s National Iced Tea Day.)
While I appreciate a flaky, buttery pie crust, sometimes I also appreciate easy recipes that don’t require chilling and rolling dough. These pie bars are made with a super simple crust that gets pressed in, then doubles as the crumble topping. There is no need for a mixer, as this recipe is super simple to prepare. While I’ve not tried it myself, I think you could use an abundance of different fruit types. I’d suggest using the same flavor jam as the fresh fruit you choose, though.
Fresh Strawberry Bars
Yields one 9″x9″ pan (approximately 9-12 bars)
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
small pinch of salt
2/3 cup good quality strawberry jam
2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan, then line with parchment paper with an overhang on all four sides.
Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg. Stir until crumbly and coarse. Reserve about 1 cup of the mixture, setting it aside until needed.
Press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan, being sure to press down firmly.
In a separate bowl, combine the strawberries, granulated sugar and cornstarch. Toss until everything is well combined.
Spread the strawberry jam over the oat mixture you’ve pressed into your pan. Scatter the fresh strawberries over the jam, evenly across the pan. Top with the oat mixture you set aside.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden in color. Once cooked, let the strawberry bars cool in the pan for 15 minutes before quickly removing them to a cooling rack (using the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan). Cut into squares of your desired serving size.
Enjoy at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days, but these are best eaten the day they are made.