Thursday, January 15, 2009

From the Bag Lady's Test Kitchen

As you may have surmised from yesterday's post, the Bag Lady had to spend some time in her house yesterday, waiting for the phone to ring. Which it did not. She decided that she should put that time to good use because she hates to just sit around, wasting time blogging isn't a waste of time, is it?

She had done some cleaning in her pantry a day or two before, and discovered a large unopened bag of dried apricots and a large supply of pecans, so she decided some experimenting was in order. Apricots and pecans should go together fairly well, she told herself. So she grabbed a handful of pecans and tossed them in the oven to toast, and chopped up a couple of cups of apricots. Here is her recipe for:

Apricot Pecan Matrimonial Cake

1 1/4 Cups flour
1 Cup rolled oats
1/2 Cup chopped toasted pecans
1 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp soda
3/4 Cup butter

Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter as for pastry.

filling:

2 Cups chopped dried apricots
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix apricots, sugar, water and lemon juice in saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cook until thick.

Spread half the dry mixture in a 9"x9" (or 8"x8") square pan. Cover with filling, then sprinkle remaining dry mixture on top. (The Bag Lady added some extra chopped, toasted pecans on top because she had so many!)
Bake at 300F for 1 hour.
Cool completely. Cut into squares.

This recipe originally calls for using dates instead of apricots, and does not call for pecans. The Bag Lady likes it that way, too, but this makes for a nice change.

(The Bag Lady has no idea why this was called Matrimonial Cake, but her mother used to make it, so the recipe is quite old. Not that the Bag Lady is old.....she's just sayin' the recipe has been around a long time....)

Edit:
Here is a little explanation I found on another blog as to the origin of the recipe.

19 comments:

Geosomin said...

OH. Yum.
Matrimony cake is one of my my favourite things. J doesn't like dates so I make it occasionally with stewed rhubarb in the centre...it cuts the sweetness. a bit I love pecans...they'd make a nice addition to apricots.
I can tell I haven't had breakfast yet. Yum.

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh, my that sounds good. May have to do a version of that myself.

new*me said...

that sounds delicious! My mom is always telling me how good apricots are for us........lots of Vit A, I think :)

the Bag Lady said...

Geo -I love matrimonial cake. With dates. And now this with apricots and pecans is good, too. I discovered (after 14 years together) that the Rancher doesn't like apricots! Too bad - all the more for me!

dfLeah - it actually is pretty tasty.

Annette - I think that's why I bought the apricots in the first place - read something about how good they are for us. Loaded with all kinds of good things. And tasty, too!

Sagan said...

That's funny, when I saw the name of the cake my first thought was "why is it called matrimonial cake?" I don't think I've ever had that but it sounds good. Not much of a pecan fan but I do like dates and apricots! Cakes with fillings always seem so much fancier.

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - I should have researched why it is called that.... in fact, I'm off to Google it and see if I can find out anything!

Missicat said...

I have never heard of matrimony cake, but this does sound wonderful!! Love pecans and apricots.

*prints out recipe*

the Bag Lady said...

Missicat - hope you enjoy it. The original recipe calls for dates instead of apricots, so you could substitute if you want to experience the original. (oh, and leave out the pecans.)
It's yummy either way!

Lucas said...

I'd marry you for one of those bars! :)

Hope your TV drama is solved soon. Customer service is so rare these days that when I do find a company or store that provides it, I hang onto them with all my might. Go gettum BL!

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Lucas! I will wait for a little while longer this morning, then if I don't hear from them, I'll be on the phone again. On hold, probably, for the rest of the day.
~~sigh~~

Gena said...

Sounds delicious! I love apricots and pecans.

the Bag Lady said...

Gena - they go together really well, too!

Reb said...

I haven't had Matrimonial cake in forever...now I might have to make one. With dates though, I am pretty sure I have mom's recipe hanging around. My dates might be from when mom was alive too though. ;)

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - good thing dates last forever! If the ones you have are still from when mom was alive they're only 15 years old. Sheesh, that's nothin'. :)

MizFit said...

Ive never heard of this!

where have I been? under a rock? is it not a jewish thing (wink)?!

the Bag Lady said...

Miz - actually, yes - one of the sites I looked at said this recipe was mentioned in a very old Jewish cookbook..... so there you go!

Redbush said...

It sounds delicious! I like dates, but, I like apricots, and pecans evan better! it could be a start for a new dessert recipe cookbook! Go for it, girl!

tokaiangel said...

Oh WOW that sounds amazing! I have just gone on a googlehunt to find out why the name, but the only thing I can come up with is this...

"some have suggested that its name comes from " a metaphor for marriage because it has a rough top but a sweet filling and a firm base"

Which sounds a bit made-up. We have this too, but we don't really have a name for it! I think the last time I bought some they were called "crumble slices" or something...

TA x

the Bag Lady said...

Hi, Redbush!! Oooh, yes, a cookbook! What a great idea....:)

TA - it does sound a bit contrived, but I suppose there could be some truth in it. It sounds as though the recipe originated sometime in the 1800's.... maybe. Could have been earlier. As for the name? Who knows? Everything I ran across seems to point to the name being Western Canadian.