Preheat oven to 350. Mix crust ingredients in a large bowl, cutting in the butter until crumbly. (Or, you can use a food processor). Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-in square pan. Bake for 30 minutes, remove and let cool for at least 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325.
Beat eggs with an electric mixer until foamy, add rest of ingredients except for preserves, and beat until well combined. Spread the preserves over the crust, then pour lemon mixture on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set. Remove from oven and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. (I sprinkled a bit more pepper powder too.) Let cool before cutting into bars.
Note: Do not try with the usual "pepper jelly". I've used Debra's Jammin Jelly, very good. This time I bought a jar of apricot preserves, cut two habaneros up very fine, stirred into the preserves and let sit in the fridge for a day. You can use any flavor of preserves you like.
> NOTES : Served at the 2001 Southern California Hot Luck. Rave reviews all the way around. This batch did not have the chiles in the crust, only the apricot/habanero preserves.
From: Marilyn Reese
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