Apricot and Date Slice

Filling:
1 1/3 cups (250 g) pitted dates, chopped
1 1/3 cups (250 g) dried apricots, chopped
250 mL (1 cup) water
1/2 cup (130 g) shredded coconut

Pastry:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup wholemeal plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
80 ml (1/3 cup) water

Preheat the oven to moderately hot (200°C or 400°F). Line a 30 x 20 cm shallow baking pan with foil. To make filling, put dates and apricots in a small saucepan and add the water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until fruit is pulpy and water has been absorbed. Stir in coconut and set aside to cool. To make pastry, combine oats, flour and sugar in a mixing bowl, and make a well in the centre. Add margarine and water, and mix with a knife until ingredients are evenly moistened. Press half the pastry into the prepared pan, spreading firmly with the back of a spoon. Spread filling over pastry, sprinkle remaining pastry evenly over the top and press lightly with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the pan then lift out and cut into squares to serve. Garnish with toasted shredded coconut or a light dusting of icing sugar if desired.

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