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What was the missing ingredient?

April 12, 2006

I have never written to you before, but on this occasion I felt I must. In Barbara Hansen's article ["Italian, Unraveled," April 5], which I like overall, she writes about Giada De Laurentiis' new book, "Giada's Family Dinners." The part that bothers me is when she writes: "It's frustrating to find errors ... especially when you're in the middle of preparing a dish. An apricot crostata recipe, for example, lists the juice and grated zest of a lemon as ingredients, but the directions never explain how the juice is to be used."

Well, the recipe in my copy of the newspaper explains exactly what to do with the juice. Right there in step No. 6, it very clearly says: "6. Combine the preserves and lemon juice, then spread over the dough."

SARA DIGRE

Redondo Beach

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Barbara Hansen responds: The Times Test Kitchen tests all recipes published in the Food section, and if necessary makes changes from the original. In the case of previously published and credited recipes, a note indicates that The Times' version is "adapted from" the previously published version. That was the case with this crostata recipe, to which the Test Kitchen added the lemon juice instruction.

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