Tuesday, 18 October 2011

National Baking Week Day Two: Oat and Apricot Slices

It's National Baking Week Day Two and time for a slightly healthier option of apricots and oats. These oat slices also work well with the addition of chopped almonds sprinkled on top of the apricot layer before baking. There is a very similar apricot/almond flapjack sold in Marks & Spencer but these are much softer and richer.


40g/1 ½oz dried apricots
2 tbsp granulated sugar
150ml/5fl oz unsweetened clear apple juice
120g/4oz plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g/7oz rolled oats
50g/2oz light brown sugar
120g/4oz lightly salted butter


-     Preheat oven to 375oF/190oC/Gas Mark 5. Grease a shallow 28x18cm/11x7 inch baking tin or line with non-stick baking parchment.

-     Chop the apricots into quarters and place in a saucepan with granulated sugar and apple juice.

-     Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the apricots have softened and absorbed nearly all of the apple juice. Leave to cool completely, then place in a blender and process until smooth.

-     Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, oats and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Blend in the butter using fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

-     Press half of the crumbly oat mixture over the base of the baking tin. Spread the apricot puree evenly over the oat mixture, using a thin metal spatula wetted with a little cold water to help ease of spreading. Cover with the remaining oat mixture, pressing the mixture down lightly. Sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.

-     Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until pale golden. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into approximately 12 equal sized bars. Store in an air tight container.

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