Strawberry Crumb Bars

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When I was a kid/teenager my mom used to make homemade jam. My favorites were strawberry and mango-pineapple. We all enjoyed our jam on crackers and bread. She even used them as fillings for cakes.

I remember my mom tried to sell her jam to a local supermarket but she was turned down because she needed to create a brand and a legal business to be able to work with the supermarket. By then, my mom had a lot on her plate like taking care of 3 kids and a mother with an early stage of dementia so it was not the right time for her to start a business like that. Now that I think about it, it kind of makes me sad that she couldn’t close that deal but she had her priorities and later on in life she created another business that I will talk about some other time.

Now, it’s time to talk about this recipe. I’ve been reading good things about this new natural sweetener made from Monk Fruit (Lakanto) so I got some during my last trip to Costco.

I made strawberry jam using Lakanto (Golden), zero sugar, zero net carbs and it’s keto approved! The result was very good. Very tasty. I used this jam to make some bars. Let’s start with the recipe.

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Jam (Filling)

1 pound fresh strawberries, hauled and cut into quarters

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Monk fruit Sweetener Lakanto (Golden)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the crust and crumb

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (butter has to be very very cold)

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

2/3 cup Monk Fruit sweetener (I used Golden Lakanto)

1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions

For the strawberry jam

1.- Remove steams and core of the strawberries. Slice them into quarters.

2.- In a medium size saucepan, mix strawberries, Lakanto and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon.

3.- With a fork or a potato masher, mash the strawberries.

4.- Bring the mixture to a light boil, stirring every couple of minutes. When you see it starts to boil (big bubbles) turn down the heat to low and cook for about 20-25 minutes until you see the mixture thickens and the bubbles are very small.

5.- When the mixture has reach jam consistency, remove from the heat and place into a big mason jar or other air-tight container.

6.- Let it cool room temperature and then place the lid. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

For the crust and crumb

1.- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides. Set aside.

2.- In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add the small pieces of butter and using a fork or a pastry cutter cut in the butter until the flour the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbles. This takes about 4-6 minutes. Please, do not overmix because the butter can warm up and you won’t get a good crunchy topping.

3.- In a small bowl mix the egg, yolk, Lakanto (or light brown sugar) and vanilla . Whisk and then add it to the crumb mixture. Use your hands if you need to, it should resemble a moist crumbly sand.

4.- Reserve a third of the mixture because that is going to be your crumb topping. Place this part into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

5.- Pour the remaining mixture into your prepared pan and flatten down with your hands to create a nice even crust.

6.- Add your cooled jam on the top of your crust and sprinkle the remaining mixture (add the almonds) . Press the crumb down with the palm of your hand and then bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Let it cool and then cut in squares.

Enjoy!

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