This Apricot Shortbread Oats Crumb Bar is a combination of a buttery and creamy shortbread crust and crumble topping and filled with homemade Apricot Jam. It’s literally melts in your mouth in every bite.
I feel that Apricot is not getting the attention that it deserves. My first thought whenever Summer arrives are the Berries, Peaches and Mango but Apricot, rarely. This week when I went to the market in was sale, it was quite cheap so I decided to buy some. The entire week I was on an Apricot baking craze, which was kind of amazing. I started to love it, maybe next Summer Apricot would even be in my mind when Summer arrives. They’re easy to cook and use for baking, they’re nice to eat fresh, they’re great for jam, and they’re excellent for oatmeal topping and for making crumb bars like this one. That on top of Apricot danish, hand pies, deep dish pie, it just gets more interesting as I think of what I can make with this Apricot. I couldn’t be more happier in my decision to give Apricot a chance, maybe you should too in case you had not been paying too much attention to it like me. I’ve made Apricot Jam and Apricot Almond Tart so far and now this crumb bar. I have so many plans for these Apricots, and they’re all sinfully delicious.
How to Make Shortbread Oat Crust
Making this crumb bar is a two parts process. First is the making of the crust which in this case is a shortbread oats crust. This is just like making a shortbread dough, the only difference is that we are adding a small amount of rolled oats for added texture. The main ingredients are all-purpose flour, oats, sugar and butter. Simply process all the ingredients for the crust (except the rolled oats) in a food processor, then add the rolled oats at the end then pulse 3- 4 times. We are adding the rolled oats last so that we can retain some of the texture of the oats.
Can I Use Store-Bought Apricot Preserve?
Yes you can, but if you can get your hands on fresh Apricot, I encourage you to make the Apricot filling, it’s super easy to make and you can adjusts the sweetener level to your preference. Plus you can make more and use it for your breakfast toast or for pie filling. Give it a go, you won’t regret it. Fresh is always better, that’s what Summer is all about, using fresh fruits while you can.
Can I Make Apricot Shortbread Oats Crumb Bar Ahead of Time?
You’ll be happy to hear that the answer is Yes 🙂 In fact I prefer making this a day ahead to give the crust the time to get chilled. Not only that you get a clean cut and you avoid the bars for falling apart, it also makes the crust properly chilled. Bake and let it cool completely then wrap in a aluminum foil then put it in a ziplock bag then refrigerate overnight. Now, if you cannot wait that long, I can’t blame you. This bar smells wonderful as soon as it reach the almost end of the baking time. Just make sure to have it complete cooled and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, it’s worth the wait trust me, You won’t regret it.
Crust & Topping Ingredients:
- 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Rolled Oats
- 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 6 tablespoon unsalted Butter, cubed and softened (but not melted, just enough to create a dent when you push your finger in the butter)
- 1 tablespoon sliced Almonds
- 10 pieces Apricot – cut into small pieces
- 2 pieces Apricot – thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon Honey
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seed or Cornstarch
Note: Double the recipe for a bigger batch and bake in 8 x 8-inch pan. Start with the suggested 350F at 35-45 minutes time and adjust baking time as needed.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray with oil and line a 5-inch or square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Make sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
- Make the Apricot Filling: Transfer the apricot in a pan, then add chia seed or cornstarch, honey and salt. Cook until the Apricots are soft and the juice starts to come out. About 10 minutes in medium heat. Add Set aside to cool. Fell free to double the recipe for some extra jam on the side.
- Make the Crust: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the mixture. Using a mixer or a food processor, beat/mix on low-speed until you have coarse crumbs. Add the oats and pulse about 30 seconds or until the oats is fully incorporated, but still visible. I like to add it last so that it doesn’t get too fine.
- Chill the Crust: Divide the dough crust into 2. Press 3/4 portion into the pan, firmly press it down into an even layer. Put in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to harden the crust before blind baking (pre-baking) it. Reserve remaining 1/4 portion of the dough mixture for topping, keep refrigerated while you pre-bake the dough crust.
- Pre-bake the Crust: Take out the chilled crust from the freezer. Pre-bake the dough crust at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Take out from the oven and add the Peach filling.
- Alternatively, You can store the pre-baked crust (without the filling) it in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to complete the baking process on the day that you want to serve the dessert. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put in a ziplock bag. No need to thaw when ready to bake again.
- Add the Filling & Toppings: Pour the Apricot filling mixture over the pre-baked dough pressed into the pan. Add fresh sliced Apricot. Add sliced Almond to the remaining 1/4 portion of the dough crust. Sprinkle on top of Apricot filling. Return to the oven and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top and the juices are bubbling. Check at 25 minutes mark to see if the top are already browning. . Remember that the based crust has been baked already, so you only need to bake the topping. As soon as you it nicely browned and bake, you can remove it from the oven even before the 35 – 45 minutes mark.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing. Chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to allow the crust to harden. This will prevent breaking the bars when slicing it.
Makes 6 – 9 bars for big batch (8 x 8 square pan), and 4 – 6 bars for small batch (5 x 5-square pan)
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