Apricot Crumble Bars

Today, I was on the hunt for fresh apricots and as it was clearly pointed out to me during the course of my search, apricot season ended in July and here it is mid-August.

Before setting out on my mission that almost seemed impossible, I picked up the phone and called my favorite local health food store. I was told they didn’t have any more apricots, they didn’t think they would get any more in, and the season had ended.

Hoping that the odds were in my favor, I jumped in my car and drove to the super market that sells a good selection of organic produce with my fingers crossed that I would find some apricots with my name on it. I must have seriously looked like I was trying to find something because two – not one – but two produce guys rushed over to help. One of the guys said they put in three orders and no apricots had come in, evidently the season has ended.

While driving home, I decided to go ahead and stop by my favorite health food store – the one I called earlier – and pick up a few things. The guy who I spoke with spotted me as he was dashing to the back of the store and hurriedly told me there were apricots in the mark down section. I threw up both my thumbs gesturing my excitement. But where is this wonderful mark down section with my apricots?

I looked around and finally had to ask another guy in the produce section for the apricots in the mark down area. As he escorted me to the “mark down” section, he simultaneously blurted out that they don’t have any more apricots and – you guessed it – apricot season is over. The “oh-I-am-so-sorry-for-you-what-do-you-think-apricots-grow-on-trees-this-time-of-year” tone in his voice made me think I was expecting too much. The next thing I knew he was holding a plastic bag with the last seven fresh organic apricots of the season for $1.49! One or two looked like they had seen better days, but heck, I’ll take it!

Apricot Crumble Bars

Brazil nuts pair nicely with apricots, but feel free to use any nut or seed you like for the crumble. A 9 x 9 or smaller dish/pan is an ideal size for this recipe. These bars are great as a treat, or serve as a dessert with fresh fruit or accompany with a scoop of sorbet.

Brazil Nut Crumble

2 cups brazil nuts
1 1/3 cups organic unsweetened coconut, shredded
½ cup organic dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup agave
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 organic vanilla bean
1 teaspoon organic cold pressed coconut oil
Place the brazil nuts, 1 cup of the shredded coconut [reserve the 1/3 cup shredded coconut for topping (see assembly)] and the dried apricots in a food processor and process until it resembles a crumbly meal. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well incorporated.

Makes about 2 cups, firmly packed

Fresh Apricot Jam

3 fresh organic apricots, washed, stone removed
1 – 2 tablespoons agave, optional
Place the apricots and agave in a food processor and process into a smooth jam.

Makes 2/3 – ¾ cups

Assemble

Brazil Nut Crumble
Fresh Apricot Jam
1 fresh organic apricot, washed, stone removed, chopped
½ cup reserved brazil nut crumble
1/3 cup reserved organic unsweetened shredded coconut
Place 1½ cups of the brazil nut crumble in a glass dish or metal pan of your choice. Shape the crumble to the bottom of the dish/pan to form an even base. Spread about 1/3 cup of the apricot jam evenly on top of the base. Sprinkle the chopped fresh apricot evenly over the apricot jam, then sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of brazil nut crumble and the 1/3 cup shredded coconut on top.

Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more before cutting. Keep refrigerated up to 5 days.

Makes 8 3-inch bars

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