Apricot Slice

The Apricot Slice was created as a way to use Apricots, which tend to ripen sooner than other summer fruits.

During the World Wars, as with most fruits, Apricots ripened and often rotted while still on the tree - most of the farmers were contributing to the war effort afterall. Similarly, the fruit often sat on loading docks for weeks at a time, as there was little or no manpower to see to the despatch and distribution of the fruit.

Many Australian and New Zealand housewives became adept at creating recipes to use this half-rotten fruit, sitting for hours chopping the spoiled portions out of the fruit, and then becoming quite imaginative as to the many and varied ways that they could use the fruit.

As a result, preserving and drying techniques were widely developed and put to good use.

Apricots especially have a wonderful sweet fruity flavour - and were used not only in cakes and desserts, but also added to stuffings and sauces; preserved apricots was served simply with custard (when sugar and milk were available).

During the war, flour was rationed and not readily available - with the result that many homemakers and housewives developed new and interesting recipes from the ingredients that they could muster together.

The recipe below for Apricot Slice called for both malt biscuits and sao biscuits - two of the most common biscuits available at the time, and as this recipe shows - able to be used to add body to a recipe in place of flour.


4 oz apricots, finely chopped and dried

1/2 packet of malt biscuits (crushed)

2 Tablespoons coconut

4 oz margarine or butter

1/2 tin condensed milk

1/2 pkt sao biscuits (crushed)


Melt margarine or butter, add to milk, then add dry ingredients. Press into slice tray.

Ice with lemon icing. Store in fridge.


Icing sugar, melted butter, lemon juice to tasste and water.

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