Apricot Almond Crisp Squares

Years and years ago, I created the ‘Compote Square’ recipe for a Rosh Hashana recipe column I wrote for various newspapers. It was a bit of a modern take on the traditional compote my grandmother and aunt would serve at the end of holiday meals. The original recipe was made without the almond and with a mix of dried fruits (prunes, apricots, raisins, apples, etc.). With this version, I added some silvered almonds to the topping and use only apricots for the filling. You can try different dried fruits for the filling — whatever you like.

I use butter for this, but non-dairy alternatives can be used to keep this parve or vegan. I cut this into 16 squares and if wrapped well, freezes beautifully.

Crust

  • 140 grams / 5 oz all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 28 grams / 1 oz icing sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 112 grams / 4 oz butter, softened (1/2 cup)

Filling

  • 250 grams / 9 oz dried apricots, cut into small pieces (1 1/2 cups apricot pieces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 56 grams / 2 oz granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Topping

  • 35 grams / 1 1/4 oz all-purpose flour (1/4 cup)
  • 65 grams / 2 1/4 oz quick-cooking oats (3/4 cup)
  • 112 grams / 4 oz brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
  • 56 grams / 2 oz slivered almonds (1/2 cup)
  • 56 grams / 2 oz butter, softened (1/4 cup)
  • 1 pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil.

For the crust, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and use your fingertips to work the butter into the dry ingredients, until if all comes together to form a dough. Pour the dough into your prepared baking dish and press the dough into an even layer. Use a fork to dock the crust and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown. Remove from oven

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Combine the apricots, water and sugar in a small pot and place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, mashing the apricots with a fork occasionally as it cooks, It’s ready when the fruit has absorbed all of the water, plumped up and started to break down a bit. Add the almond extract and stir through.

Pour the filling over the crust and spread it out evenly.

Make the topping. Place all of the topping ingredients into a bowl and use your fingertips to work the butter into the dry ingredients, forming a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle the topping over the apricot filling, forming an even layer.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Cool completely, remove from the baking dish and cut into 16 pieces (4×4). You can wrap well or transfer to an air-tight container and keep on the counter for a few days, or wrap well and freeze.

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