How to Make Apricot Bars

Talk about something that brings me back to childhood. Taking a bite of these put me right back in Lillie’s kitchen, where my twin sister and I would watch her whip up meringue by hand on a flat egg board (she didn’t own a mixing machine of any kind). Lillie was an ample woman, and on warm days when she’d wear sleeveless dresses, those big upper arms of hers would really get to flappin’. Her generous, rose-cheeked smile is something I’ll never forget.

These bars, I found, stuck fairly tenaciously when they’d been chilled thoroughly. So my advice is to either leave them at room temperature before serving, or line the pan with parchment à la 7 Layer Bars. Start by preheating your oven to 350. Combine your crust ingredients in a bowl or the bowl of a mixer and stir until a dough forms.

Scrape the dough into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish…

…and press it to shape. Bake the crust 20 minutes until lightly golden. Allow it to cool completely.

Next, prepare the meringue topping. Put your eggs in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip…

…and whip the eggs to the soft peak stage.

With the machine running, add in your almond extract and sugar…

…and whip to stiff peaks.

Now to build the bars. Spread on the jam…

…then the meringue…

…and top the meringue with the sliced almonds. (They make a funny knocking sound when dropped onto meringue…I must find out why sometime).

Bake 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Cool completely, slice and serve!

4 thoughts on “How to Make Apricot Bars”

  1. Hi Joe

    I’m delighted to have found your site – lots of interest here. I’ve just made your Apricot Bars and wanted to check whether the resulting meringue topping is meant to be very sticky. The ratio of sugar to egg white doesn’t seem right for ordinary meringue.
    Unfortunately the final yolk slipped into 3 whites so I had to start again. I now have one container of three shell-less eggs plus 3 yolks. Any suggestion for using them up???

    1. Yolks are great for soufflés! 😉

      But yes, that particular meringue is quite sticky. The bars in general have a gooey texture. I hope it was pleasing! 😉

      Come back often,

      – Joe

    1. Hey Donna!

      I’ve only ever seen my late Swedish neighbor use one, though from time to time I see them in antique shops. Basically they’re short planks, about 18 inches long by about 8 inches wide, with a shallow depression hewn out of the center, about half and inch deep in the center. You put your egg whites in there and, using a flat whisk, whisk them furiously in an oval motion until they form a foam. If you do it right then whites don’t run off. Lily used to hold the board at an angle to her body and whisk away. Had she stopped at any time the whites would have run off onto the floor. A pretty impressive sight!

      Thanks for the question,

      – Joe

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