Apple and Apricot Treacle Tart Bars

  • For shortbread base
  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • For the fruit filling
  • 450g cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 175g dried apricots, halved
  • For the treacle topping
  • Grated rind of one orange, plus 1 tbsp juice
  • 200g golden syrup (You can oil the scales before weighing. This allows the syrup to slide off easily)
  • 8 level tbsp porridge oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/300°F/Gas 3
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Stir in the flour until the mixture starts to bind together in big clumps. Tip the mixture into a 23cm square or 26 x 18cm rectangular tin and press down on the base with your fingers until smooth. Lightly prick with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the apples in a pan with the sugar. Cover with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the apples are pulpy. Discard paper. Add the apricots and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring again until they are soft and the mixture is quite dry. Puree in a food processor.
  4. Remove the base from the oven, cool. Increase the oven heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Spoon and spread the fruit filling over the base, levelling it off as you go.
  5. Make the topping by mixing the orange rind and juice in a small bowl with the syrup and oats.
    Pour over the fruit filling spreading completely over to prevent any burning. Return to the oven for a further 25-30 minutes until set and pale golden on top.
  6. Cool in the tin, completely before cutting. Score lightly on top into 12.