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 Desserts & Sweets
Citrus, Apricot &  Labneh Slice 

Citrus, Apricot & Labneh Slice

I used to work as a barista in a café with a good friend of mine who was the baker.  One of her specialties was the most delicious citrus apricot slice. It had a traditional biscuit, condensed milk and dried apricot base which was topped with a very generous layer of lemony cream cheese icing. It was extremely delicious, and equally hard to resist, but I always dreamed of making a healthier version that I could eat guilt free without the packaged biscuits, refined sugar and cream cheese. After much experimentation I think I may have nailed it with this Citrus, Apricot and Labneh Slice. 

The base consists of rolled oats, nuts, organic dried apricots and Medjool dates, while the main ingredient in the topping is labneh, which is very similar to cream cheese in its tartness, but without the high fat content. Labneh also has the good gut bacteria found in all yoghurt products, so this really is a treat that is good for you!

You can find my Labneh recipe here, and if you are wanting a vegan option, you can make your own coconut labneh out of coconut yoghurt, as explained in the recipe. 

A generous amount of lemon juice is added to the labneh along with coconut sugar to sweeten. Soaked cashews ensure extra creaminess and the addition of organic extra virgin coconut oil helps the topping to set – it should be worth noting here that organic extra virgin coconut oil is far superior in flavour and has more health benefits than regular coconut oil. Even though it is an expensive pantry addition most recipes I feature extra virgin coconut oil in only use a few tablespoons at a time.  

The cashews used in this slice benefit from soaking for around 4 hours to help activate them – this essentially makes them easier for our bodies to digest. Soaking the nuts first also helps to soften them for blending, but if you haven't managed to preplan the soaking time, you can pour boiling water over the cashews and soak for just ½ hour instead. They won’t be as activated, but they will have softened enough to blend into a smooth consistency. I have also made this recipe without any presoaking of the cashews, and it is still a lovely slice, but I do find that the topping isn't as smooth when it is made this way. 

 

Makes 12 large / 24 small pieces 

Ingredients 

Base 

  • 1 cup almonds 

  • ¾ cup rolled oats 

  • 1 cup desiccated coconut 

  • 1 packed cup / 200 grams organic dried apricots, roughly chopped 

  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped 

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup 

  • 3 tablespoons / 50 grams coconut oil, melted 

  • Juice from ½ lemon 

  • Pinch of sea salt 

Topping 

  • ½ cup cashew nuts, soaked for 4 hours (see note above) 

  • 1 ½ cups labneh or coconut labneh

  • ½ cup lemon juice 

  • Zest from 1 lemon 

  • ½ cup coconut sugar 

  • 3 tablespoons / 50 grams coconut oil, melted 

  • Zest from 1 lemon to top

Method 

  1. Place the almonds, rolled oats and coconut into a food processer and blitz together until the almonds are finely ground.  

  2. Add the remaining base ingredients and blend well. It should begin to clump together. 

  3. Grease and line a 20 cm square tin with baking paper. 

  4. Push the base into the tin and spread flat using the back of a spoon to ensure an even coverage. 

  5. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Blend in the same food processer - no need for washing - with the labneh, lemon juice, coconut sugar and lemon zest. Keep scraping down the sides and blending until there are no lumpy bits of cashews and a smooth consistency is achieved. 

  6. Slowly drizzle the melted coconut oil into the mix with the motor running, and blend further until the topping is a creamy silky texture. 

  7. Pour the topping over the base and cover well. It will still be quite runny at this stage; it will thicken on chilling. Refrigerate overnight. 

  8. The next day remove the slice from its tin and top with extra lemon zest. Cut into even portions. I like to cut into 24 small bite size pieces of slice, but you could cut into larger pieces if you like. 

  9. Keep in a single layer in a covered container in the fridge. Best eaten within 4 – 5 days of making. 

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