Fresh Apricot Bars

By Todd & Diane

- Yield: 12 Bars
Makes great use of an overabundance of apricots, or revitalizes the flavor of off-season apricots. If you don’t have fresh apricots on hand, substitute apricot jam. If your apricots aren’t very sweet, adjust sugar amount to taste.

2 lbs (910g) ripe Apricots
3/4 cup (150g) sugar, or to taste
1 Tablespoon (15ml) orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier), optional
1 cup (125g) flour
1/2 cup (110g) packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup (113g) cold unsalted butter (1 stick) , cut into small cubes
1 cup (90g) old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish or 10″ tart pan.
Combine the apricots and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the apricots are soft (will vary tremendously depending on the ripeness of the apricots-very ripe apricots will only take minute or two). Stir in the orange liqueur.

Puree the apricots in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in freezer to chill while you make the crust.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pinch in the butter pieces into the flour mixture (or cut them into the flour with a pastry cutter), until it resembles coarse sand. Pinch in the oats until well combined.

Press 2/3 of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish (if using a tart pan, press the crust mixture up the sides too). Spread the apricot puree over the crust bottom. Sprinkle the remaining crust over the top of the apricot puree.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.