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In memory of Joyce

The grand old lady we so looked forward to seeing at family functions, passed away two days ago. She lived a good, long and productive life; raised her children and loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her family would be the first to attest to her talent in the kitchen. Family and food can intertwine in unexpected ways. Last summer we sent Joyce a box of ripe apricots. Canning was becoming increasingly difficult for her, but I think she could not ignore the golden ripe goodness so she made a few jars of jam. Yesterday we received a gift bag with two jars of her last jam. Today I used some to make an apricot linzer bar. Rest in peace Joyce, you will be missed.

Apricot linzer bar looks something like this, with just a thin layer of jam on the base.

The jam quantity depends on the size of baking pan used as well as on the thickness of your jam. Originally designed for a 9X13 inch baking pan, I rolled out the dough quite a bit thinner, to accommodate a rimmed jellyroll pan. The linzer dough would not have been strong enough to transfer to the baking pan, so I cut a parchment to fit the pan first and rolled the dough on the parchment. Then holding onto the parchment, it was relatively easy to slide the base onto the baking pan. Because the base was thin, I spread it with a thin layer of jam. If I were to use a 9X13 baking pan, the base would have been thicker and could have supported a thicker layer of jam. Hence, the amount of jam used is arbitrary. There is a set formula for linzer dough by weight, [3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar] For this recipe I reduced the sugar to accommodate for the sweetness of the jam.

3-1/3 cups flour
1 cup less 1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 scant tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 Tbsp sour cream
apricot jam
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely ground

• Preheat the oven to 375F.
• In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, egg and the sour cream.
• Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a rimmed jelly pan.
• Place the parchment on a flat surface.
• Roll out 2/3 of the dough on the parchment to equal thickness and covering the entire sheet of parchment paper.
• Gently move the parchment with the rolled out dough onto a rimmed jelly roll baking pan.
• Spread the top with a thin layer of jam.
• Shape the remaining dough into long strands and place over the jam layer diagonally.
• [if you use a 9X 13 inch baking pan you should have ample dough left to make a lattice pattern]
• Sprinkle the top with coarsely ground almonds.
• Place in a preheated 375F oven and bake until linzer is lightly browned.
• Cut the linzer into squares.

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