Using the contents of my cupboard I created these Honey Roasted Almond and Fresh Apricot Bars as a final treat for a picnic in the park. The honey almonds add some sweet and salt to the flavor, the apricots are a bright pop of fruit and the bottom crust gives a buttery finish to each bite.
It has been a crazy spring! In March, we took our first family trip since returning from Anguilla in March of 2020. Later, in the last week of May, we got married, went on a short honeymoon, came back, and bought a house in Charlotte—all in the space of ONE week!
And then life slowed down again.
It will be the end of August before we move and, honestly, I am not sad about that. I will very much miss my Asheville home, and this gives me one last summer to say good-bye. I am luxuriating in our cool mountain nights; our windows open to the fresh air. And we are enjoying all the wonderful events that Asheville has to offer, starting with an outdoor performance of the Montford Park Players at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater just around the corner from my house.
Outdoor theater means a picnic and a picnic needs a sweet treat. This was a snap decision so whatever I made would have to come from what I had available. A quick look at my cupboard and I came up with a bowl of fresh apricots, some oatmeal and a bag of honey roasted almond slices intended for snacking or a salad.
Make a crust with some oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter. Add some almond extract because almonds and apricots are a classic! Save a little of the mixture for your crumble topping.
While the crust is baking, thinly slice the apricots and toss the with a little cinnamon and some bourbon (because this is the South!).
Add some honey roasted almonds to the reserved crust mixture, mix it together with your fingers. Use your fingers lightly, try to keep the mixture chunky.
Once the crust is baked, spread it with the apricots, then sprinkle with the crumble topping.
A final bake and it’s done.
The honey almonds add some sweet and salt to the flavor, the apricots are a bright pop of fruit and the bottom crust gives a buttery finish to each bite.
Later that evening we sat under the stars, drinking Rose wine and nibbling on our treats while the players told the story of The Little Prince. A perfect combination!
HONEY ROASTED ALMOND AND FRESH APRICOT BARS
- 1 c oatmeal
- 1 ¼ c flour
- ¾ c brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ c butter melted
- ½ c Honey Roasted Almond Slices
- 6 apricots
- 1/3 c sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8X8” pan with parching paper, leaving some paper sticking over the sides. (This will help you remove the bars later).
- Stir together the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powders, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter, the vanilla and almond extract. Stir until combined. Reserved 1 cup of the mixture for the crumble topping and press the rest into the prepared bowl. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Add the honey roasted almonds to the reserved crust mixture and toss lightly with a fork or your fingers to mix together.
- Slice the apricots into thin pieces and toss together with the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Add the bourbon and toss them again until they are evenly coated.
- When the crust is finished baking, remove from the oven and spread the apricot mixture evenly over it. Use a spatula to scrap any remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture over the fruit.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over all.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the crumble topping is light brown.
- Cool completely before cutting.
Note: Almost any fruit will work for this recipe. Juicier fruits may need a bit more cornstarch. If it is very liquid, put it in the refrigerator to set before cutting.