December 04, 2020add happiness
Apricot Granola Shortbread
By Jen Inglis
The Granola bars have been a long time favourite at Steampunk. Generally when something ain't broke you shouldn't try to fix it but we are going to make an exception here because Jen has updated the humble granola for the festive season and also made it vegan so everyone can enjoy it! Honestly all of us in the shop are addicted to this already. It is available at Steampunk throughout the festive period to enjoy alongside your coffee but if you can't come visit try making it at home. You won't be sorry.
Apricot Granola Shortbread
Sometimes things go a bit wrong. I'm not a natural baker and my usual style of cooking is much more forgiving than most baking recipes, which need to carefully follow precise steps or risk ending up in a mess. If I'm being honest it's that I take cooking instructions as vague guidelines and baking doesn't work like that. It's a fine and precise art and while it's great to experiment and the variations are pretty much limitless, a usable result isn't guaranteed.
Anyway, the point is that mistakes shouldn't be the end of the road. Its a cliche for a reason, so in baking like every part of life we make mistakes and learn from them.
This recipe took various attempts to fix and fine-tune and finally be the version I had in my head. The compote was too runny. The granola wouldn't set with maple syrup. The shortbread wouldn't evenly bake. The whole thing fell apart when cut. BUT, I think it was worth it . The biscuity base and the not too sweet apricot are perfect with Steampunk's classic granola and this version is vegan! It's now one of the new December bakes and delivers all those festive flavours in a gorgeous crumbly, fruity package. Give it a try and share your baking mistakes, tweaks and inventions with us!
200 g dairy-free butter, I used Flora
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 g caster sugar
300 g plain flour, sifted
The Dried Apricot Compote
250g chopped dried apricots
juice of 1 large lemon
The Granola Crumble
250g dairy free spread
200g golden syrup
375g demerara sugar
10g ground cinnamon
125g dried cranberries
125g pumpkin seeds
85g ground almonds
85g sesame seeds
Heavy bottomed pan for compote and then cleaned ready to melt syrup mixture
Deep baking tin
For the Apricot compote: Start with the apricot compote as it's best premade and cooled before baking. Soak apricots for a few hours in water then add lemon juice and sugar and bring to the boil. Take care not to let the fruit catch on the bottom of the pan and burn so stir occasionally. Simmer till the apricots are softer but still holding their shape (30-40 mins) then allow to cool.
For the Shortbread: Grease a high sided baking tin and line with baking parchment. Gently rub in spread and flour and mix in sugar and vanilla or pulse the lot in a food processor. Makes a very soft dough so rather than rolling out I press evenly into the baking tin and smooth then prick all over with a fork. Blind bake in the oven for 15mins at 180C
For the Granola Crumble: Melt the spread, golden syrup and sugar in a pan, then when mixture begins to bubble increase to a high heat for 10 mins. Measure out the dry crumble ingredients into a large bowl, and as soon as syrup is ready quickly mix through dry until well coated.
Build your bars
Spoon apricot compote evenly over shortbread base to roughly 1 cm depth, and then crumble granola mix over the top so fully covered and gently press down (but don't smooth) to ensure everything sticks together.
Bake for 20 mins (at 180C) and allow to cool in the tin before cutting. Bread knife is easiest!