apricot-meringue bars

It’s been pretty slow-going the past few weeks. Not because there’s nothing much to do, but because I spend every hour of the day not doing any of the things I should be doing. Like thesis research, for example. But I figure, summer’s not over yet, so there’s always time to get it done before fall term starts.

Someone needs to tell me that the above excuse is not going to be acceptable the day before fall term starts.

Instead, my days have been filled with interning, work, and books. Not that any of this is problematic in the least. Plus, I figure, as long as I keep buying books having to do with my thesis topic, it’s basically like I’m doing the research, right? Never mind the totally neglected stack of textbooks waiting to be opened, but there’s all the time in the world for that.

In any case, it’s been fun. A trip to the White House here, a Death Cab for Cutie concert there, a few good meals all around, and a short little baking adventure.

One of the – many – wonderful people that I intern alongside celebrated his birthday last weekend, though I didn’t get to see him during the remainder of the week. But he’s been one of the loveliest people I’ve gotten to know, ever really, and I really wanted to do something to thank him and all of the other organizers for their help and guidance this summer.

Just something small, homely, and a bit comforting to celebrate.

Apricot-Meringue Bars
Adapted from The Cookie and Biscuit Bible
Yields 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, beat flour, butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar, vanilla, salt, and egg yolk until it reaches dough consistency. Evenly press the dough on the base of the prepared pan. Prick holes over the top of the dough with a fork. Bake for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, beat the egg white to stiff peaks. Slowly pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, until mixture is glossy and smooth. Gently fold in the chopped nuts.

Once crust has baked for 10 mins, remove pan from the oven. Spread the apricot jam evenly over the top of the crust, followed by the meringue. Place pan back into the oven and bake for 20 mins, until the meringue has become crisp. Cool pan over a wire rack. Slice into 16 bars.

I’ll be taking the bars to work with me tomorrow morning. They aren’t the most gorgeous of desserts, to be sure – I like to call them “rustic” – but the taste is phenomenal. Deliciously flaky, crunchy, chewy, and fruity all in one. Here’s to hoping everyone tomorrow fancies them just as much.

In other news, Ramadan has begun and for some reason, I’ve chosen this very moment to rediscover the existence of foodporndaily.com. What better way to spend the last few hours of daylight than masochistic gastronomic admiration anyway? I’ve got, like, weeks of porn to catch up on after all.

Well, that’s certainly a sentence I never imagined typing out for the general public at any point in my life.

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