Apricot Bars

This is a recipe I got from Womans  Weekly magazine.
Sliced almonds and sweet butter-crumb topping turn tangy fruit and shortbread cookie bars into super treats.
You can use peaches or nectarines instead of apricots.

Makes 12 squares

319 calories per square.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1                  lb apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4               cup sugar
  • 1                  tbsp lemon juice  
  • 1/2               cup water

Pastry

  • 1 3/4             cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3                cup sugar
  • 1/2                tsp salt
  • 3/4                cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1                   egg
  • 1/4                tsp almond extract

Topping

  • 1/2                cup all-purpose flour
  • 2                   tbsp sugar
  • 1                   tsp grated lemon zest
  • 3                   tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2                   tbsp sliced natural almonds

Instruction

For the filling:

In a pot over high heat combine apricots, sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, stirring frequently, until  thickened, about 20 minutes. freeze 30 minutes.

For Pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line 9” square baking pan with aluminum foil. 
  3. Combine flour, sugar and salt.
  4. With pastry blender or 2 knives cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Lightly beat together egg and almond extract;  stir into flour mixture until dough forms. 
  6. Press dough into bottom of the pan; prick with a fork.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden.
  8. Cool slightly.

For the Topping

  1. Combine flour, sugar and zest.
  2. Using fingers blend in butter until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Stir in almonds.
  4. Spread apricot filling over pastry;  sprinkle with crumb topping.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden.
  6. Cool on wire rack.
  7. Cut in Squares.

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