29th January 2013
Something healthy to bake I decided, although by the end of the recipe I realised it wasn’t that healthy! This is another quick and easy recipe to follow.
I had a bag of apricots in the cupboard left over from a recipe I baked the other week, so rather than sitting down and nibbling on them in the evenings, I thought I would use them up in a recipe.
The oven was preheated to 130°C and a small 18cm (7″) shallow square tin was lightly greased and the base lined with parchment.
The first thing to do was to prepare the filling, which in this case would be the apricots. 175g of ready to eat apricots were snipped into small pieces and placed in a small pan together with 50ml water, 2 tablespoons caster sugar and the grated rind of a lemon. This was brought to the boil and simmered gently until the apricots were soft and the liquid had evaporated. They were then left to cool.
Whilst the apricots were cooling it was on with the oat mixture. Into a mixing bowl went 50g porridge oats, 50g light muscovado sugar, 40g chopped walnuts and 200g wholemeal self-raising flour. You can see now why I thought this recipe looked healthy. I hadn’t put that much sugar into it and it required wholemeal self-raising flour. The mixture was stirred together.
Now this is the part where it becomes incredibly unhealthy. 175g butter had to be melted and added to the oat mixture. I could just hear my veins and arteries screaming! This was mixed in and the mixture divided into two. One half was spread onto the base of the prepared tin and pushed down gently. On top of this went the cooled apricot mixture which was spread evenly over the surface of the oats. To finish off the remaining half of the oat mixture was spread over the top. I wasn’t sure whether or not to press this down (as you would for a flapjack) or to leave it crumbly. Mary states to spread it over to form and even layer. I decided to press it down very gently.
This was then popped into the oven for 45 minutes (I was surprised at how long it took) and the smell of the apricots soon filled the kitchen. After 45 minutes the bars were firm and a lovely golden brown. Once out of the oven they had to be cut while still warm, but left in the tin until cool.
Once cooled it was time for a taste. I must admit I’m not a lover of walnuts and wasn’t too sure whether or not I would enjoy these bars, but I must admit they were very tasty. My daughter though they were good and my husband loved them asking me to bake them again so he could take some into work. My son wouldn’t try them as they had walnuts in!!
I don’t think the photograph does them justice, it’s always the way – I forget to take a photo until somebody starts eating them! The top was rather crumbly compared to the bottom, so I think if I did make them again I would press them down just a little bit more to make them firmer.