Recipe Number Fifty Six: Page 237.
No surprises that I started this late evening. We had such a busy day out and about that I just didn't find the time until after 6pm. Even though I was feeling more than a little weary, the picture of these bars in the Baking Bible spurred me on. They looked so moist and moreish, I couldn't wait to try one.
I needed a 7 inch shallow square cake tin. I had a tin that met all but the shallow requirements; it would have to do. I don't have the room or the finances to own every single tin required! I turned the oven on to a very low heat and then set about snipping up the apricots. I am glad Mary used the term snipping otherwise I wouldn't have thought to use scissors. I would have spent a long time slicing the apricots with a knife! I put them into my small saucepan, then added a little water and sugar. I also required the grated zest of a lemon. Neil tutted when he discovered I only needed the zest and not the juice. He hates waste, so usually makes himself a refreshing lemon drink with the unwanted juice. The facial expressions made whilst 'enjoying' the drink are most entertaining! I added the lemon zest to the saucepan and heated it through until the apricots were soft and the water had evaporated; the end result looked like a very fruity jam.
I put the saucepan to one side to cool whilst I made the oat mixture. This was easy enough to do. To save on washing up I weighed everything into my weighing scales and also used it as a mixing bowl. I love the flavour of light muscovado sugar, so was pleased to be adding it to my bowl. Also, anything that contains oats is automatically moreish. Things were looking very promising! A small quantity of walnuts, butter and flour were also added to the bowl and mixed together. I pressed half of the combined mixture into the base of my tin and then carefully spooned the gooey apricots on top making sure it was evenly spread. Next, I covered the apricots with the remainder of the oat mixture and then put the tin into the oven.
It took a while in the oven. It needed just over the suggested 45 minutes to cook; the smell wafting from the oven was wonderful. I cut it into bars whilst it was still warm and left them to cool. When we finally got to try these bars we already had full tummies from our evening meal, so we agreed to share one between us. The bar was very crumbly. I would advise using a plate; we were a bit naughty and didn't bother but, hey, that is what the vacuum cleaner was invented for!! As for the taste, obviously they taste of apricots! My apricots must have been especially tough as they were still a bit chewy. The oat mixture reminded me a bit of a digestive biscuit. I know I have an unusually sweet tooth but I felt it was lacking on sugar! They are moreish and, don't get me wrong they are very nice, but if I make them again I'll throw in a bit more sugar!
Mary says that these bars are similar to those you can buy in health-food shops. I have to agree that the use of wholemeal flour and a relatively small amount of sugar made me think that these bars are rather virtuous. But, as with most recipes, butter did still play a key role! As far as I am concerned, if something tastes nice it is because it has a lot of fat and sugar in it. That's life and life can be cruel!
|These are almost healthy!!|