I’ve spoken before about the role of the classic Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks in my early baking.
I probably cooked most from the Beautiful Biscuits and Cakes and Slices books, but one that we all spent a lot of time browsing through was the Dinner Party Cookbook. It was so unlike the way we normally ate…entrees! multiple courses! fancy tableware! that we were all fascinated, and each year, on our birthday, we could choose a meal and Dad would cook the whole menu.
I remember the steak with whisky cream sauce was pretty popular (with five children, fillet steak was a very occasional treat), but one year a sister who was vegetarian at the time chose the (one) vegetarian menu in the book, and this slice was the dessert.
I find it a bit amusing now that the only vegetarian meal also has the most ‘virtuous’ dessert as if just because it wasn’t based on meat meant it couldn’t possible have a chocolate dessert, or a rich cake!
So, although I don’t bake anything just because it is low fat or sugar etc; as a plus this does happen to be (relatively) low fat and low in sugar, as well as truly delicious. I made it at my sister’s place on the way back from our visit to Mum and Dad’s, and we both agreed that this was the one recipe from this particular cookbook that stuck in our memories. So happy birthday sis!
You might imagine that a slice, effectively a shallow cheesecake really, made with yoghurt rather than cream cheese or sour cream would be lacking in texture, might be watery or mealy by comparison. In fact the reverse is true. This slice has a beautifully creamy texture that many cheesecakes lack, and a lovely tartness from the apricots and small amount of honey.
In relation to the recipe, I give a range of quantities for the honey, as some people may find this a little too tart with the smaller amount, so I encourage you to taste the mixture, and add more if you prefer. You might also notice that the filling is made here in a Thermomix as my sister has one, but I would normally use a food processor, and I think we would originally have made this by hand, chopping the apricots finely and whisking the other ingredients.
Apricot yoghurt slice
Adapted from the AWW Dinner Party Cookbook
- 25g shredded or desiccated coconut
- 125g Granita biscuits
- 60g butter
- 125g dried apricots
- 1/2 c boiling water
- 400g Greek yoghurt
- 90-125g honey depending on taste (see above)
- 2 eggs
Toast coconut lightly in a small pan on the stovetop or bowl in the microwave, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Combine coconut, roughly broken biscuits and butter in a food processor and pulse until combined and the biscuits are crumbs. If making by hand, crush the biscuits and combine with melted butter and coconut.
Press mixture into a foil or baking paper lined tin – either a 20cm square or 18x28cm lamington tin would be fine – and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Cover apricots with boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. Microwave for 1-2 minutes to speed things up if you like. Preheat the oven to 180C. Once the apricots are plump and soft and most of the water is absorbed, put in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Add yoghurt, 90g of the honey, and eggs, and process until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more honey if you like.
Pour filling over the chilled base, and bake for 30-35 minutes if using the lamington pan, 35-40 if using the square, until lightly browned at the edges, just firm on the surface and with only a very slight jiggle in the centre.
Leave in the tin until cool, and preferably chill for a couple of hours before slicing.
Makes sixteen squares.
One year ago: Smoky cauliflower and bacon farfalle
For the other side of the world
Six months ago: Artichoke parmesan paste