Fruity Oatbars

29.01.11 - An appetising picture of yummy fruity oatbar

These fruit slices are hearty, tasty and deliciously sweet, without any added sugar.  They make  a satisfying and wonderfully wholesome snack.

Ingredients

Filling
3/4 cup dried prunes, chopped small and closely packed into the cup
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
juice and rind of an orange (1/2 cup of orange juice is fine, or just use extra water)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup chopped almonds (optional, but delicious)

Pastry
2 cups of rolled oats
2/3 cup plain wholemeal flour – or spelt is just as delicious
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg (a few scrapes of freshly ground)
90g butter (from the fridge – cut into lumps)
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup/Freedom Syrup (optional)

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas 4 and grease or line an 8x8cm baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Place all the filling ingredients (except the nuts) in a small pan a bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer until the ingredients are very soft and well amalgamated (10-15 mins), with a little bit of liquid remaining.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts.
  • Whilst you’re doing this, place the dry pastry ingredients and butter in a food processor or mixer and pulse until the mixture looks like lumpy breadcrumbs (or you can use your fingertips to do this). This is quite a buttery mixture – don’t worry it it looks a bit claggy. Then mix in the water with a knife – the mixture should still be very crumbly.
  • Press a little more than half this mix into your tray then spread the fruit and nut mixture on top.
  • Then sprinkle the rest of the pastry mix over the top and press into the fruit so it’s quite firmly compacted (otherwise it’s a very crumbly bar!).
  • Drizzle the syrup over the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is lightly browned. Leave to cool from the tin, and then cut into 9-12 bars (depending on how greedy you feel).
  • Enjoy at breakfast time, or any time you need a quick pick-me-up.

Cook’s Note
This is just as nice with other combinations of dried fruit – apricots or figs (or a mixture) can be substituted for the prunes, but I think that the raisins and/or currants are necessary for that contrast of flavour.

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