I hate dried summer fruit. Or dried fruit peel that has been scattered through baked treats and things like muesli giving off an odd bitter taste. I just hate knawing and knawing at dry and lacklustre fruit that have had the life sucked out of them. What is the point? Things always taste better, fresh. My past exceptions would be that I'll suffer through it if a hot cross bun or artisan fruit loaf was the bomb to eat. But you know what has turned me ON to dried apricots recently? My good friend's Grandma's Apricot Slice. Like literally, a can-not-stop-eating-it-gone-in-30-seconds type of turn on.
As you may or may not know, we went home to NZ four times in the last three months, all in the name of weddings (my favourite topic of all time). One of those weddings was in December where I was one of three bridesmaids for my good friend; Kim. Now Kim, the sentimental cookie, decided to make home baked slices for her wedding favours, with three delicious flavours being; Nigella's Millionaire Shortbread, a very gingery Ginger Slice and her Grandma's Apricot Fudge slice. All the slices had a special meaning behind each one, and I absolutely loved all three, we had great sugar highs, eating all the offcuts while we were boxing up the favours. But what got me the most was how much I couldn't stop eating the Grandma's Apricot slice... when it contained an ingredient that I would ordinarily loathe.
Kim has kindly let me share her family recipe on here and I feel very privileged to do so. It's very easy to make (you don't even really need a stove or an oven), and I hope you give this a go!
GRANNY COOTE'S APRICOT FUDGE
(original recipe title was; "Racy Gracie's Apricot Fudge Slice")
Prep time: 20 mins | Fridge time: 3 hrs | Makes: About 15 oblong pieces (5cm x 6cm), but really depends on how you cut it
- 100gm Butter (salted or unsalted is fine, I used salted)
- 4 TBSP Brown Sugar *
- 1 Packet (250gm) of Crushed Griffin's Vanilla Wine biscuits or Griffin's Superwine biscuits (similar biscuits I found here in Sydney were Arnott's Marie Biscuits)**
- 1/2 Can Nestle Condensed Milk (about 200ml)
- 1 Cup chopped dried Apricots (chop the apricots to roughly the size of a raisin)
1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over a low heat. Alternatively, melt the butter and sugar together in a large bowl in the microwave.
2. Once the butter and sugar is all melted, mix in the crushed biscuits, condensed milk and apricots until throughly mixed
3. Push the mixture into a baking paper lined tin and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
4. Once firm, cut up into even slices by knife or by cookie cutter, and eat with your fingers at any time, day, night, or mid sleep :) Best eaten within a few days but would keep for a week in the fridge.
* The original recipe is for 6 TBSP of Brown Sugar if you feel you would like it to be on the sweeter side
** The preference here is a mixture of fine powder and small pieces so that there is still some crunchy texture in the fudge. Placing the biscuits inside a ziplock bag or tea towel then hand bashing with a wooden spoon is preferable over using a food processor.
I wanted to use a 20cm x 30cm tin, but found the mixture didn't quite fill it up...my slice came out more like a 15cm wide slab. Don't worry though because the mixture is semi solid and malleable, you can free hand press it into any shape or tin you like.
I do have to say Kim's Grandma's last name isn't "Cootes", but there is a running joke that I call Kim; Granny Cootes (amongst other names), so I have affectionately renamed this recipe as so!
Guys, the slice doesn't look like much, but trust me when I say it's seriously more-ish. I made one slab so I could shoot it, but Jase and I ended up eating pretty much the whole thing the night before. THIS SH*T is REAL. I guarantee you won't be able to stop licking the wooden spoon after mixing it together. If you are having, or have had a particularly stressful day, baking this is the best thing to do (if you can even call it baking). There is nothing more stress relieving than bashing a packet of biscuits over and over with a wooden spoon :)
Combining 2 of my favourite childhood loves; vanilla tea biscuits and condensed milk with something I normally dislike seems to work quite well! Let's face it though, any recipe passed down from a Granny is always the best.