This is a recipe that I have that was scribbled on a piece of paper many years ago. I’m not sure who the original author is or where it came from, but I have adapted and modified the original to come up with the below details.
I love dried apricots, and this slice showcases them beautifully. I also added dates to give a sticky depth of flavour (an idea borrowed from sticky date pudding). The bi-carb soda encourages the dried fruits to re-hydrate and break down, helping to enhance the texture. I used pecans, but you could use walnuts, almonds, your favourite nut or if you are someone with nut allergies go without (the nuts do provide a contrast however). If you are gluten free you could use gluten free flour and substitute rolled quinoa flakes for the oats.
What I was cooking this time last year: Raspberry & Wattle Seed Muffins
Apricot and Date Slice
- 1 ¼ cups of plain flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 125g butter
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup golden syrup
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots
- ¼ cup chopped dried dates
- 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- Turn the oven on to 180°C.
- Add the chopped dried apricots, chopped dried dates and bi-carb soda to a bowl.
- Pour boiling water over the dried fruits and set aside to soak, stirring occasionally.
- To make the base, add the flour, oats, sugar and butter to your food processor bowl and blitz until combined (or rub the butter into the rest of the ingredients if mixing by hand).
- Press the base mixture into a greased and lined tin.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Add the eggs, golden syrup, sugar, pecans, vanilla and flour to the soaked dried fruit and stir to combine.
- Pour the filling mixture on top of the cooked base and return to the oven for a further 20 – 30 minutes, or until the middle of the filling no longer wobbles when you give the tray a gentle shake.
- Remove the slice from the oven and allow to cool.
- Cut into serving size pieces. Enjoy.
What is your favourite way to use dried fruits? Has this post inspired any new ideas?
I have a fierce sweet-tooth, and in winter a warm pudding is the perfect way to end a meal, especially one drowned in sticky caramel sauce. This is a twist on Sticky Date Pudding, or Sticky Toffee Pudding as it is known in the UK.
It is better to make this pudding using electric beaters or a mix-master rather than a food processor to retain the texture of the apricots and walnuts. If you are lucky enough to have any leftover caramel sauce, it can be used drizzled over ice-cream or other desserts.
Date, Apricot and Walnut Pudding with Caramel Sauce
* This recipe was inspired by a recipe by Jill Dupleix that appeared in a Sydney newspaper many years ago. I have modified and adapted it over the years to come up with the below reincarnation.
- 100g dates, pitted and chopped
- 100g dried apricots, chopped
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 250mls water
- 75g butter, softened
- 100g raw sugar
- 2 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 100g crumbled walnuts
- 200g brown sugar
- 300mls cream
- 50g butter
- A generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- Ice-cream or whipped cream, to serve
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- Spray a cupcake / muffin pan thoroughly with cooking oil spray.
- Mix dates, apricots, bicarbonate of soda and water in a small saucepan, heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until the ingredients are heated through – the mix will froth due to bicarbonate of soda.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Add the flour and mixed spice and mix until combined.
- Add the date and apricot mixture and approximately 75g of the walnuts [reserving some of the walnuts to sprinkle on the top]. Gently stir to combine.
- Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the muffin pan – the mix should make 12 puddings, depending how large you want them. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining walnuts.
- Place muffins in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the puddings spring back when touched in the middle.
- Combine the brown sugar, cream butter, salt, vanilla extract and mixed spice in a pan [I use the pan that had the dates & apricots in it to impart extra flavour into the sauce and save on washing up].
- Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place a warm pudding in a bowl [or zap briefly in the microwave to reheat], add caramel sauce to taste. Accompany with whipped cream or ice-cream. Enjoy.
What is your favourite winter dessert recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?