RAW Recipe: Apricot Jam Bars With Perfect Flakey Pastry Crust

May 23rd, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Recipes

I truly adore raw desserts and I tend to stick to them exclusively, even when I’m not strictly raw. It’s a pretty awesome feeling, digging into a dreamy decadent dessert while knowing that it’s composed entirely of whole, healthy, nutrient-rich ingredients. Vitamins and minerals make everything taste better!

However, most raw desserts are centered entirely around nuts: crumbly walnut crusts and chewy almond cookies and silky cashew cheesecake, and on, and on. They’re delicious and they’re nutritious, but nuts carry a few of their own issues. For one, they’re quite high in calories. But more importantly, they can be rough on digestion. I find that too many nuts will disagree with me, especially in combination with fruit. It’s a common phenomenon and many people experience it – Damian calls it “nut belly”. Or more like, “nut belly, groooooan”.

So recently I’ve focused on creating amazing raw desserts that are totally nut-free. And I’ve had some awesome success! This recipe, for example, brought to my palate a sensation I hadn’t thought possible to experience while raw: perfectly buttery, perfectly flakey, perfectly perfect pastry crust. It’s magical.

The secret ingredient is coconut flour, my new favorite ingredient. My particular coconut flour was sent to me by Coconut Secret, and not to sound like an ad or something but man, this stuff is revolutionary! It’s completely changed my ideas of what’s possible in the world of unbaking. Seriously life changing! Coconut Secret is a great company and they have an awesome little line of raw products (which I’ll talk about another time), but you can get coconut flour from many sources. I’ve seen it in a bunch of different bulk bins. (As a note, not all coconut flour is raw, so double check if that’s important to you).

Strange new ingredient aside, these treats come together quickly and easily.

1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup alt milk
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted (more for greasing)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups dried apricot halves, soaked at least 4 hours
2 cups water

Use coconut oil to grease an 8″ baking tray. Combine all crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and completely combine. If you need to melt the coconut oil, you can float it in a small bowl within a larger bowl of hot water. Once the batter is mixed, press it into the bottom of the baking tray.

Place all soaked apricots in a blender or food processor. Add enough of the soak water to form a thick but smooth paste – probably just over a cup. When the apricots are fully blended, spread them evenly on top of the crust.

Refrigerate to set for a few hours.

Perfect for tea time. Enjoy!

  • http://coconutandberries.tumblr.com Emma

    YUM! Look fabulous. I really must get my hands on some coconut flour.

  • http://craftylittlegnome.blogspot.com/ Adrienne Audrey

    wow this looks sooo yummy and really easy to make!

  • http://www.sarathomas.etsy.com sara thomas

    don’t mind if i do! thanks sayward =)

  • Megan

    Hi! I’m sure you know the *essential* reasons to soak and sprout nuts for a long enough period of time (Weston A Price Foundation). I found that a lot of pre-made raw store dessert possibly do not sprout their nuts long enough. Or possibly skip this step altogether.

    AND, have you tried fermenting nuts?? Definitely the way to go. Makes the nutrients way more bioavailable (being that nutrients are predigested), adds friendly flora to the gut, and takes away that nut belly feeling. Fermented nuts and seeds for that matter (make a nut or seed butter first. You can make with a fermented liquid like kefir water) are fantastic in dressings and sauces, cuz the tang. Also, works well for cheese-cake like desserts. Again, cuz the tang (:

  • RK

    That looks ridiculously amazing!!!! Oh I love your recipes. Makes me want to run to the store then start making it!

  • Sierra Dawn

    Oh… mouth watering! Coconut flour? Really? I’m definitely putting it on the shopping list.
    Hmm, I’ve never heard of nut belly. You know, I eat a LOT of nuts and am constantly feeling bloated. Could this be nut belly? I’m going to have to look into this.

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    Wunderbar! So glad to see a dessert that is not nut- or tofu-based. Nut Belly issues (or non-issues) aside, there are many, many people with allergies to nuts and/or tofu.

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    Meant to add that I’m assuming that almond milk is not so integral to the recipe that someone allergic to almonds couldn’t swap it out for another alt milk.

    Also, I have been using coconut flour for ages and I’m happy to see you showcasing it!

  • Kelly H.

    JOY! In my forays into raw foods, I have loved and appreciated the versatility and deliciousness of nuts and products; However, I have longed for something more reminiscent of a baked good (buttery and flaky and all that) and this looks like it “takes the cake.” Heehee. ;o) I foresee another personal commitment to raw foods coming soon! I am delayed in joining you all, but you are getting my inspiration and motivation revving. Thanks! I cannot wait to try this! And the beauty is…you can substitute so many things for the apricots!

  • http://www.thedomesticvegan.com Jess – The Domestic Vegan

    Wow, this looks ridiculously delicious!! Definitely making this. I love coconut flour! I happen to have a small bag of it in my pantry, and I think I just found the perfect use…

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Emma – It’s amazing stuff, you should try it!

    @ Adrienne Audrey – Yup, *super* easy.

    @ sara thomas – You’re welcome! =)

    @ Megan – I haven’t played with fermenting nuts but it’s on my list – thanks for the reminder!

    @ RK – Aw, that is a huge compliment. =)

    @ Sierra Damn – That could *definitely* be the cause. Damian loves nuts but whenever he eats them he gets . . . the bloat. Not fun. Maybe try eliminating them and see what happens? Are you eating them along or in combination with other things?

    @ Monika – Eep! Yes, thanks for the catch, I’ll change that to “alt milk”, as it can be any.

    @ Kelly H – YES! You can do any dried fruit, sooo many possibilities. Or combinations! I’m actually working on a raw recipe that emulates both the appearance and texture (and flavor of course) of traditional lemon bars. It’s proving to be quite complicated but I know I’ll get it, and it will be one of my crowning glories! Haha

    @ Jess – It would have gone perfectly with your marinated mushroom steak!

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    I adapted this crust for a raw cherry pie/tart, and it was AMAZING! I posted it here.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Monika – Yay! SO glad you like it, and your cherry tart looks SO GOOD. I’m jealous your cherries are ripe already. Mine are still green on the tree and I’m salivating for them, haha.

  • http://www.positivelybeauty.com Cristina | Positively Beauty

    Hi there, I just discovered your lovely blog.
    The pastry crust looks amazing! Off to find some coconut flour :)

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  • Kristina

    I was given a bag of raw coconut flour as a gift and have been trying to find recipes with which to incorporate it–without the use of standard raw kitchen essentials (food processor and dehydrator). After getting back from the woods with a container of fresh blueberries, I fantasized about using them to make a “pie” with this crust recipe. Several ingredients had to be improvised, as I did not have everything your recipe called for. Maybe I should not be commenting after so many alterations! Coconut manna for oil, raw vanilla bean powder for extract, and maple syrup for agave (not raw, I know). I blended some Medjool dates with blueberries and hemp hearts for the filling, which was more saucy than anything. A very filling and delicious crust! Next time, I’ll spread the crust more thinly and actually purchase some apricots in advance. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kristina

    Have since remade this delicious dessert, following the directions to a tee. YUM YUM YUM! Thank you Sayward!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yay, so glad you like it! And always feel free to adapt, your filling sounds delicious. =)

  • Nikki

    OMG i am hyperventilating reading this!!! I have recently gone grain and sugar free in my house….but…..my two little baby boys are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and dairy….THANK YOU for this recipe!!!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, you’re welcome, I hope you like it!

  • Anonymous

    I am new to this site but have been all over it in the past few days. I have a question about the coconut oil, could I replace that with applesauce as I avoid any oils as I am on a whole foods plant based diet (in addition to having celiac…makes s life interesting!).

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Apple sauce would be really different, since it has such a different texture (coconut oil is solid at room temp and adds structure to the crust). Are you low-fat, or do you just avoid extracted oils? If you can do fat then I would say replace it with coconut butter, which is just ground up coconut meat (so it’s a whole food).

    Hope that helps!

  • Geraldine

    What is alt milk? What other milks can be used in its replacement?
    I have to agree with Nikki, her post made me smile because I’m so excited I found this site! I too got right into raw desserts thinking I could eat without guilt having the sweet tooth that I have but the overuse of nuts has put me off. I’m not allergic or anything but I know what you mean about nut belly and you just can’t escape eating nuts in the raw world.
    I too missed that flaky-pastry-baked kind of texture so I am super excited to try this.
    Are you familiar with the brand Bobs Red Mill? I bought their coconut flour and was wondering if it’s raw? I suspect not if it’s not stated on the packaging

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Alt milk just means any milk that’s not dairy, like soy or almond or rice milk. To keep it raw, you would want to use a homemade nutmilk (like almond)
    I have seen the BRM coconut flour and it’s definitely cheaper. I love the company too! It’s not raw, so if that’s an issue for you then Bob’s is a no-go. But if you don’t care about raw then I’d definitely say give it a try. luck!

  • Mjmmt

    Oh my does this look great. Great post!

  • Christine

    I have been looking for a way to use my raw coconut flour. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tiffany

    Are there any other dried fruits I can use instead of apricots?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I’d say you could use ANY dried fruit. =) Let me know how it goes if you do!

  • lucy c

    What did I do wrong my crust is not flaky it is wetting and mushy

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I’m sorry I don’t know what to tell you, except just to add more coconut flour. My coconut flour is very “thirsty” so it absorbs all the liquid. But if you’re using a different brand it may have different properties? I’d try adding more and see if you can get it crumbly. Then once you press it into the pan it will make that flaky crust.

  • michelle v.

    This was excellent and eaten all up in one night at my house. I didn’t melt the coconut oil, but just whirled it all in my food processor. I used whole coconut milk. I added 1 Tbls. coconut sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp. cardamom powder to the apricots. Decadent. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  • Melanie

    This was awesome! The crust was delicious and flaky; I used light coconut milk. My friend and I ate it in two days. Thank you for posting this!