Several adjectives spring to mind to describe this three layer bake: sticky, treacly, fruity, chewy and yummy, very yummy indeed. The ingredients below create a tray bake that cuts into 16, a bit like a Land Rover (i.e. 4 x 4 – sorry, couldn’t resist that.) But feel free to go for bigger rectangular bars.
Servings: 16 small squares Time: 1 hour 40 min Difficulty: Easy
Credit: This is my adaptation of an original recipe from the excellent BBC Good Food book “101 Cakes & Bakes“.
- For the Shortbread bottom layer
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 60g Light muscovado sugar
- 180g plain flour For the fruity middle layer
- 450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 30g caster sugar
- 200g ready to eat dried apricots, cut into small pieces For the Treacle top layer
- grated rind of an orange
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 240g golden syrup
- 130 – 150g porridge oats
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C/Fan 140C/Gas 3. Grease and base line a 23cm/9″ square tin.
- To make the shortbread base, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy then mix in the flour until smooth. Tip the mixture into the tin and press down firmly. Prick with a fork then bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the middle layer. Put the apples in a saucepan with the sugar. Cover and cook for about 10 – 12 minutes, until the apples are becoming mushy. Add the apricots and continue cooking gently for another 15 – 18 minutes, stirring regularly. When reasonably soft they need to be whizzed to a puree. (or use a stick blender.)
- Raise the oven temperature to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5. Spread the fruity mixture over the cooled base layer. (I found that a plastic cake scraper was ideal for leveling the mixture neatly.)
- Combine the topping ingredients then place small “blobs” all over the middle layer. This makes it easier to spread the topping evenly without disturbing the middle layer. Return the tin to the oven for a further 20 – 30 minutes, until set and pale golden in colour. Allow it to cool fully in the tin before cutting.