Pecans Squares by Pesach and Batya Narkis

A Story From Family in Israel by Norma Feder

Pesach and Batya Narkis are my cousins who were Holocaust survivors originally from Poland. After the war, they sailed on the ship “Exodus” from France in 1948, when Israel received its recognition as a Jewish state.

They were founders of a kibbutz near Haifa called Kibbutz Ein-Hashofet. They lived in an apartment at the kibbutz and their apartment complex had a garden with pecan trees. There were so many pecans from the trees that they decided to create a recipe using the nuts. Their son was a cook at the kibbutz, who later became a chef at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. For many years, Pesach and Batya remained at the kibbutz where they were very popular and lived great and healthy lives. Pesach was the postmaster.

About 20 years ago, I visited them at the kibbutz. They shared this pecan recipe with me verbally, and I wrote it as they told it to me.

Ingredients:

3 cups sifted flour

1 1/3 cups halved pecans

1 cup white sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. lime juice

2 eggs, separated

3/4 lb. melted margarine

1 tsp. white sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°

To sifted flour, add baking powder and 1 cup sugar. Combine beaten egg yolks with vanilla and lime juice and cooled melted margarine. Combine flour mixture with egg yolk mixture to get crumbly dough. In a 9 x 13 inch pan lined with parchment paper, pat dough down until smooth. Beat egg whites slightly and pour over dough. Blot with paper towels to take off excess so dough isn’t too wet. Sprinkle 1 tsp. sugar over egg whites. Spread pecans evenly on top of dough and press down with hands. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes until top is browned – longer if necessary. Let cool and cut into squares.

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