Lemon Apricot Slice

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This is my version of the classic slice you can get from most bakeries in NZ. I’ve used organic dried apricots to add sweetness — look for the dark brown ones that haven’t had sulphur added. Apricots are a great addition to your iron intake, and guess what enhances iron absorption? Vitamin C! Thank goodness for the lemon.
Prep Time 15 mins
Set Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins
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Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut

Today I wanted to share another recipe with you from new book Be Good – free! This Lemon Apricot Slice is my version of the classic slice you can get from most bakeries in NZ. I’ve ditched the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, wine biscuits, and icing sugar, and the result is 10 times better. If you’re thinking lemon and apricot sounds like a weird combo, you’re about to get a spectacular surprise!

How to make this Lemon Apricot Slice

What are those old-school apricot slices normally made from?

As per usual, I did a quick internet search for a classic kiwiana apricot fudge slice, to check out what these are normally made from. Here’s our line-up today:

1 ½ cups of butter, 1 ½ cups icing sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 cup sweetened condensed dairy milk, 1 cup dried apricots, 1 whole packet of wine biscuits, ¼ cup desiccated coconut, grated zest and juice of 1 lemon.

You guessed it, I’m keeping the apricots, coconut, and lemon for us, and sending the rest to food-heaven.

Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut sliced lemons in a bowl

What colour should dried apricots be?

I hate to break it to you (and my former self), but dried apricots should not be beautiful bright orange. So why are they?

Conventional dried apricots that you find in the supermarket are that iridescent orange colour due to them having sulphur dioxide added to them. Sulphur dioxide is a chemical compound used in dried fruits to preserve colour and shelf life. However sulphur dioxide has been shown to potentially cause respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary oedema and eye irritation, and even increase all-cause mortality. I ate bright orange apricots for 28 years, and never suffered any of these issues. But the point is, this additive is not added for our health benefit – it’s added for the manufacturer’s profit. To lengthen the time they can have their product on shelves, and to sell more product, because apparently humans like bright shiny things more than dull brown ones.

The takeout for you is – seek out those beautiful dark brown beauties when you’re choosing your dried apricots – you’ll find them in the organic aisle.

Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut

Ingredients for this no-bake apricot and lemon slice

Now that you’ve got your apricots sorted, here’s what else you’ll need:

  • Rolled oats
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Lemon
  • Liquid sweetener (like brown rice syrup, or coconut nectar)
  • Coconut oil
  • And those lovely brown dried apricots
Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut bowl of sliced lemon and dried apricots

Substitution ideas for this no bake apricot slice

Don’t even try to take out the apricots here buddy. Ok, you can, but it won’t quite be an apricot fudge slice. Here are a few things you can do though:

  • Rolled oats – oats contain avenin, a type of gluten, so can never be coeliac-appropriate gluten free (even though I know they advertise them as such in the US). So if that’s you, sub these out for buckwheat or extra almonds.
  • Desiccated coconut – I’ve used a combo of shredded coconut for texture
  • Almonds – you can use any nut here – brazil nuts and walnuts work great, you can also go with sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option.
  • Cashews – macadamias will work, or for a nut free option, I’d recommend hemp seeds for that same creamy light texture and taste.
  • Liquid sweetener – in any of my recipes if I refer to “liquid sweetener”, I’m giving you the choice. I normally use brown rice syrup or coconut nectar as they’re quite affordable and have a really neutral taste as well as light colour. You can also use agave or yacon syrup. As for maple? Yes, you can use this, but it will have a darker colour and also that distinctive maple flavour. Which is delicious, but we don’t always want that in our recipes. You decide (or maybe your fridge will decide for you).
  • Apricots – I know I said we couldn’t remove these, but you could make this slice with dates or figs instead. It will still taste and turn out amazing, just won’t have the quintessential apricot flavour.
Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut bowl of sliced lemon and dried apricots

Tips for making the best lemon apricot fudge slice

Here’s how to make sure your apricot slice is bakery worthy:

  • Food processor – this is what you need for your base, to make sure it blends properly. Try it in a blender and it’ll get all sticky at the bottom and unblended at the top.
  • Cashews first – this is my game-changing trick for creating the creamiest vegan icings from nuts, without having to make a litre of them to keep things moving in the blender. Blend your cashews to a flour first! A nice fine flour. Don’t go so far as creating a cashew butter, but a flour is perfect. Only then do you want to add your liquid ingredients – your lemon (I add the whole flesh sans seeds), liquid sweetener, and a dash of melted coconut oil to help it set once refrigerated. Get ready to taste the best dam icing of your life – without the heart stoppers.
Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut bowl of sliced lemon and dried apricots

How to store your apricot fudge slice

Like most of my slices, I love this one stored in the freezer. Chewy, apricotty, lemony goodness. You can opt for fridge storage if you prefer a softer slice, but honestly, once you go freezer you never go back. They’ll last in there for a good 2 months too (if hidden appropriately in some spurious corner out of your house-mates reach).

Blue plate with lemon apricot slice topped with lemon zest and shredded coconut bowl of sliced lemon

Want more easy slice recipes? Try these next:

If you make this Lemon Apricot Slice, I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and rating below (it helps others find this nostalgic slice too), and if you want to go the extra mile, tag me in your version @begoodorganics on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. And grab a copy of my new book Be Good here.

V
GF
NF
SF
OF

Lemon Apricot Slice

This is my version of the classic slice you can get from most bakeries in NZ. I’ve used organic dried apricots to add sweetness — look for the dark brown ones that haven’t had sulphur added. Apricots are a great addition to your iron intake, and guess what enhances iron absorption? Vitamin C! Thank goodness for the lemon.
5 from 2 votes
AuthorBuffy Ellen
Servings 18
Prep Time 15 mins
Set Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients

Apricot Biscuit Base

  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1 c desiccated coconut
  • 1 c almonds
  • 2 c dried apricots
  • ½ lemon zest & flesh
  • tsp sea salt

Lemon Icing

  • ½ c cashews
  • 1 lemon flesh
  • 2 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted

To Top

  • shredded coconut
  • lemon zest

Instructions

  • Blitz oats and coconut to a flour in a food processor, then add remaining base ingredients and blend until a sticky cookie dough forms. Press mixture into a lined baking tin (I use a 20 x 20cm tin) and put in the freezer.
  • Process cashews to a fine flour using the smallest blender attachment you have, then add remaining icing ingredients and blitz until super smooth.If your blender is quite large, you may have to scrape down the sides a couple of times to get it creamy. Pour icing over the base, spread evenly, sprinkle with coconut and lemon zest, and put in the freezer overnight to set.

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Blender

Recipe Notes

  • Gluten free: Use buckwheat, cashews or extra almonds instead of oats.
  • Nut free: Use sunflower seeds or hemp seeds instead of almonds in the base, or extra For the icing, use ½ cup of hemp seeds or the thick coconut cream from the top of a refrigerated can instead of cashews.
  • Sugar free: Use date paste in the icing, or a pinch of stevia.
  • Oil free: Use water instead of coconut You’ll need to store the slice in the freezer, as the icing will soften.
  • I often add a few drops of lemon oil to this icing to amp up the lemon If so, make sure you use a high-quality food grade oil like the ones I use here.