Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Pushing The Envelope ...
OK, I'll go ahead and admit it, I'm in over my head here. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
I was asked by my brother to cook an apricot pie for Thanksgiving dinner at his place. Not a fresh apricot pie but a dried apricot pie made with dried California apricots It's been a while since I have done any baking to speak of so I'll be winging this one for sure. For those interested, here's the recipe, courtesy of my niece Karen
Apricot Pie by Karen, modified by Kellan, the old warhorse.
This pie, rather than being made from fresh apricots that would be unavailable at this time of the year, it's made from dried apricots instead. The fruit is somewhat chunked in the pie and it's flavored to be sweet and tart at the same time. It was a family tradition for Thanksgiving and Christmas when I was growing up. When my mother passed away, she took the recipe with her but after years of trial and error by Karen and myself, we have reconstructed the recipe.
Ingredients: (Sorry Aslaug, if I messed up on the conversions to metric for you)
- 1 pound (.45 kg) of dried California apricots. Don't use Mediterranean 'cots because the pie will be different-a whole 'nother taste! (note* This actually worked out to 18 oz. of apricots, Sun Maid brand that came in 6 oz. packages)
- 3/4 cups (177 ml) of sugar
- 3 cups (710 ml) water
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) cornstarch
- Pastry for 1 pie shell and top (9" to 9.5" pan)
Put apricots, sugar, water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Lower to a simmer for 45 minutes or until the filling is the consistency of warm, chunky jam. This cooking down process needs to be done uncovered to partly break down the apricots so you will need to add water from time to time.
Once the filling is at that proper consistency, put the cornstarch in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cold water and stir in. This will thicken the filling for you. Cook for a about 10 more minutes until thickened and allow to cool. While the filling is cooling to room temperature, prepare lower shell and have it at the ready along with the top. You may make your pie dough from scratch or from a mix, your choice.
Put the filling into the pie shell and cover with the top, being sure to put at least 4 steam holes in it. Cook for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees or until the crust is golden brown. It will help if you cover the edges of the pie with foil or a burn ring to keep the edges from getting burnt.This pie will need to cool before being served. You will know that you thickened it properly when the filling stays completely inside the slice when served.
This is it, ladies and gentlemen. Your mileage may vary. I will report on the progress as I go. Stay tuned, y'all hear!
Note* Edited recipe quantities