12.06.2009

Apricot-Almond Squares

This recipe really surprised me. First off, it's found in Good Housekeeping: Brownies! so I definitely wasn't expecting to find a not-brownie recipe in this book. Secondly, it involves fruits, specifically apricots. Thirdly, it has 3 layers to it, well, technically 4 if you include the confectioner's sugar that goes on top. The combination of the two pastry layers with the apricot filling combines really well to have a not-too-sweet apricot "brownie" that won't be easily forgotten. It'll convert all apricot haters to apricot lovers. Also, they won't be lasting too long on your dinner table. That's guaranteed. I made a whole batch of them, and between 4 people they were all gone by the end of the day. You'll have people asking you to bake more of these, hands down.

Apricot-Almond Squares
*makes 54 squares*

Ingredients:
APRICOT FILLING
2 cups dried apricots
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups water

SWEET PASTRY
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3-4 tablespoons ice water

ALMOND TOPPING
1 tube (7-8 oz) almond paste, crumbled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar

Directions:
1) Prepare filling: In 2-quart saucepan, heat apricots, sugar, and water to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until apricots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. With potato masher or fork, mash apricots with liquid in saucepan until mixture becomes a thick paste. Cool completely.
2) Meanwhile, prepare pastry: Preheat oven to 350F. In medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix flour, confectioner's sugar, and salt. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, into flour mixture, mixing lightly with fork after each addition, until dough is just moist enough to hold together.
3) With hands, press dough evenly onto bottom of ungreased 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan. Bake pastry until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
4) Meanwhile, prepare topping: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse almond paste, granulated sugar, and butter until mixture is crumbly. Add eggs and pulse, scraping bowl with rubber spatula if necessary, until smooth. Add flour, vanilla, and salt; pulse just until combined.
5) Spread cooled apricot filling evenly over cooled pastry. Pour topping evenly over filling. Bake until top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
6) Sprinkle top with confectioner's sugar. Cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 9 squares.

If you want to print this recipe out, go here to its link on the Good Housekeeping site.

2 comments:

  1. I'm sure I would love these; I love apricots! I bet these would go perfect with a cup of tea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet they do! We had them with cafe con leche (cafe au lait, coffee & milk), and they matched amazingly, so they probably match just as well with tea =)

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