Vegan Oat, Chocolate [Prune] and Coconut Slices [gluten free with no refined sugar]
For the bottom layer you will need:
Coconut, as much as you fancy, more for a thicker layer
‘Another glorious Maltese summer is here to stay and with it comes an abundance of succulent and sweet summer fruits, slowly and naturally ripened by the Mediterranean sun making them so juicy and moist like no other greenhouse varieties. They may appear imperfect, uneven in shape and size, sometimes slightly bruised but bursting with flavor. After all beauty is not meant to be perfect and cloned.
For this recipe I use a mix of fresh, ripe apricots and dried apricots. This is one of the easiest things to bake with a soft flapjack base made with poached fresh and dried apricots. These are topped with fresh apricots and a crumble topping of ground almonds and coconut pulp.
You can use any berries or stone fruit for this recipe. Wash the apricots thoroughly and leave the skin on ‘
You will need:
For the bottom layer
Prepare an ovenproof dish by lining it with baking paper. Spray it with cooking spray.
Remove the stone from the fresh apricots and cut into quarters with skin on. Place half of them together with the vanilla pod in a saucepan. Chop the dried apricots and add them to the saucepan. Immerse in just enough cold water and bring to boil on low to moderate heat. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes for all the fruits to soften up. Remove from the heat. Add the grated lemon zest.
Use a large bowl to place the ground almonds. Mix the oat meal with it and then pour the melted coconut oil and softened coconut pulp. Use your fingertips to rub in the coconut oil and pulp into the ground almond and oatmeal mixture. Add the soft brown sugar and mixed spice and vanilla seeds. Mix with a metal spoon so that the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Add two thirds of this mixture to the poached apricot mix and stir until it is has a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish and use a plastic spatula dipped in water to smooth the surface. If you have time cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge for an hour. [At this stage, you can also leave the dish in the fridge overnight and carry on preparing the rest of the recipe the following day.]
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Assemble the remainder of the chopped fresh apricots on top of the base. Brush the surface of the fruit with the mix of agave and coconut oil. Scatter the rest of the crumble mix on the top. Do not press it down.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes then take out of the oven, brush again with the agave and coconut oil mixture and scatter the chopped nuts on top. Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Allow to cool and cut up into squares.
Serve warm with ice cream or cut up into squares for lunchboxes and picnics or simply instead of a cereal bar for breakfast or a snack
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in the summer and 5 days in the winter. Freeze for up to a month although I do not like the thawed texture which becomes slightly soggy from freezing.
Ground almonds, naturally dried apricots, dried fruit, spices and baking goods via Good Earth Distributors Ltd
Coconut Oil and coconut pulp via J Calleja Ltd
My fresh succulent apricots come from Big Fresh in Mosta
Lea’s Good Food Everyday is aired on Smash TV every day and you can also follow on facebook 🙂 Photography by CJ Baldacchino during an unedited live tv show cooking in real time.