Sunday, 5 June 2016

Summer Treats...

 To celebrate the real start of Summer (and as I write this, the sun has just broken through the clouds at last!) I thought you might appreciate a new recipe. Sugar Moon has just taken a week off to rest and can read more about where we went here....and, as usual I came home itching to get into the kitchen straight away! Work doesn't begin properly until tomorrow, so these were made at home, and use the best of the current fruits - you can easily adapt this recipe to use whatever you like best. Raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries will all work well here - perhaps adjusting the sugar levels in the topping if the berries are very tart.

Apricot & Blueberry Bars


150g wholemeal spelt flour (you can use regular plain flour or even gluten-free if you prefer)
1 (preferably free-range) egg yolk
150g butter
100g ground almonds
20g whole hazelnuts (or whole almonds if you prefer them)
75g light soft brown sugar
pinch Maldon or other sea salt flakes (optional, but so good!)

Additional ingredients for topping:

50g wholemeal spelt flour (or other flour as above)
50g whole hazelnuts (or almonds as above)
1 tbsp light olive oil (or other vegetable oil if you don't like the taste!)
50g soft light brown sugar (optional, depending on tartness of your chosen fruit)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180c
Line a 23cm square foil tray (or equivalent tin) with baking parchment

For the base: pulse ground almonds and whole hazelnuts for a few moments in a food processor until whole nuts are in small pieces...

 Add the rest of the base ingredients to the processor...
( This is the spelt flour we usually use...I love its nutty flavour and great texture...but do feel free to substitute as it won't make much difference to the finished bars!)
 Pulse until the ingredients form clumps....then press around 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared baking tray (leaving the remaining mixture in the processor bowl)...
 ...bake the base for about 10 minutes, until it turns a light golden brown....
 ...this will help prevent a soggy bottom! Then cover the base with your chosen fruit. As a guide, I used 5 apricots (stoned and roughly pulled apart) and 150g fresh blueberries...
 Add remaining topping ingredients to the rest of the mixture left in the processor and pulse to combine. It won't clump together as much, but will start to stick together if squeezed between your fingers. Scatter over the fruit... want it to just about cover, but I always like to see a little of the berries peeping through the crumb! That's just personal preference though. Flatten the top slightly with your palms to help it stick together a little. Then bake for around 30 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the baking time to ensure an even colour...
 Cool thoroughly (preferably overnight in the fridge) before lifting from the tin using the edges of the baking paper and slicing into bars. They will crumble a little at the top, but just scoop these up with your fingers and enjoy!
 Apricots are one of the only fruits that I think are better cooked than raw...I just adore them in season.
 These bars would actually be gorgeous eaten slightly warm as a dessert, with cream or ice cream, too! Feel free to experiment and enjoy them. I thought I'd finish with one of my absolute favourite Summer lunches - this is usually what I would eat during the week, on a baking break (probably listening to The Archers!)
A toasted slice of good sourdough (I love Richard Bertinet's loaves available from Waitrose, if I can't find any handmade) rubbed with a raw garlic clove and topped with fresh, ripe I added fresh marjoram from the garden and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes. And always, lots of freshly ground black pepper. Heaven on a plate! Enjoy the summer and all it offers won't be here for long! Sugar Moon is now back in full do visit our lovely website if you haven't already.

Happy June xx


  1. Karen P - Wisconsin5 June 2016 at 12:28

    Oooh! Thank you for the recipe! Looks so yummy! I love the flavor that hazelnut adds. Not so easy to find them here. Must try this. I love your recipes. You once shared cheese scones and I make them all the time. Hmmm.....when is that cookbook coming out!? ����

  2. so thrilled you were able to take some time off! This sound fantastic!! Apricots have been a favorite of mine since forever....all of my daughters favor apricot jams over others and this recipe will have to make its way into our lives! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

  3. Always enjoy reading your blog and the recipes, Rachel. I love your original ideas and casual but slightly gourmet approach. These look wonderful! You have already inspired me to buy some sourdough bread last time at market, and have enjoyed with olive oil, tomatoes and basil with a pinch of feta cheese. This blueberry/apricot fruit bar sounds wonderful, too, and I will adapt and use that! Thank you for sharing! Jane xo

  4. So great to read you again. Two blog posts in a row. And this is my kind of treats: one has blueberries in it (which is the fruit of my region, albeit I usually have them in late summer) and the other is a bruschetta. I love the sourdough bread from Waitrose, which is perfect for bruschette.


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