The sourness of the cherries and the sweetness of the coconut make this a spot-on foil for a spot of tea. For an even more decadent treat, top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.–Greg Patent
LC Fickle About Dried Fruit? Note
You may be fickle about dried fruit, although this recipe isn’t. We can see swapping any of several dried fruits for the apricots and sour cherries. Raisins, whether dark or golden, for starters. Dried prunes, a.k.a. the dread plums, for sure. Cranberries, perhaps? Figs tempt us, too.
Apricot-Cherry Coconut Bars Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes one 9 x 13-inch pan or 15 bars
- For the filling
- 1/2 pound dried apricots
- 1/2 pound dried unsweetened sour cherries
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- For the crust
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking dish
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Sweetened whipped cream, optional for serving
- Make the filling
- 1. Combine the apricots, cherries, and 2 cups water in a heavy 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is very tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Strain the plumped fruit over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- 2. Return the plumped fruit to the pan. Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, smash the fruit until it’s almost smooth. Stir in the reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid and the sugar. Bring the purée to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Transfer the purée to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
- Make the crust and crumbly topping
- 3. While the filling cools, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- 4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and whisk to combine.
- 5. In the bowl of a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just to incorporate.
- 6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the pecans and coconut. The mixture will be crumble. Press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and spread the cooled fruit filling evenly over the hot crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over the fruit and gently pat the crumbs in place. Do not pack it down.
- 7. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely before cutting into bars. If serving at home, place each bar on a small plate and top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
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Apricot-Cherry Coconut Bars Recipe © 2004 Michael J. Rosen. Photo © 2004 Sang An. All rights reserved.