Those Definitive Apricot Squares
Dada! The square that launched me as a baker.
You could also use raspberry preserves for this recipe or apricot jam but this homemade apricot filling is super.
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons very cold water
4 cups (about a pound) dried apricots, preferably Californian or half
Californian, half Turkish
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 drops orange oil, optional
Non stick cooking spray
For filling, in a small saucepan, combine about 1/3 cup water, orange oil, lemon juice, sugar and apricots. Heat over low heat and stir as fruit cooks and softens, 8-12 minutes.
Add additional water if mixture seems to require it (water evaporates quicker than fruit is softening). Remove from stove and let mixture cool completely.
Put mixture in a food processor and processor to make a smooth paste.
(Freeze or refrigerate up to 3 months. May be used in coffee cakes)
If chilled filling is too firm, loosen with warm water or microwave a few minutes and work with a fork to make it pliable.For crust, place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder in a food processor and pulse to combine ingredients. Stop the machine and add butter in chunks. Pulse to cut butter into flour mixture, then add egg and some of the cold water til dough sticks together, about 20-40 seconds. Knead briefly on a lightly floured board then wrap 2/3’s of the dough and refrigerate 15-30 minutes and freeze remaining one third.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
On a well-floured board, roll out dough to fit a 9 by 9 or 7 by 11 inch baking pan.
Pat into place. Spread on apricot filling.
Grate remaining frozen dough on a cheese grater (if too frozen, allow to warm up a few minutes). Disperse shredded dough over filling). Or, instead of a grated top, chill half of dough and roll out into a shape to fit top of apricot filling. Roll between parchment paper and then peel off top sheet and use bottom sheet (dough is on) to place on top of squares.
Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly
browned, 35-40 minutes. Cool very well before cutting into squares.
About 16 squares
Note, these are rich, so smaller squares for this recipe may be preferable.