Although we were almost 400 miles apart, our iron-skillet-champion mamas both knew their way around a can of Crisco. That meant our meals always included a little grease: Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Chicken Fried Steak, Deep Fried Okra or, if we were really lucky, Apricot Fried Pies. Ummm! Foods we still absolutely L-O-V-E but rarely get these days because frying's not so good for our hearts.
So when my Bunco-buddy Kim Adams told me about her Apricot Pie recipe, my mouth started watering. That no-skillet-required recipe like mom's cried to be tried. After all, Bob, Cole and I are all wild about apricots, pies are Kim's specialty (did I mention she's blonde, beautiful and a great cook?) and this was her family's favorite.
That was December. With Cole coming home for the holidays, I decided to make Kim's signature pie for our dessert on Christmas Eve after church when it would be just Bob, Cole and me at the house. I got the recipe for the filling out of Kim's Wilson Family Favorites cookbook, which she'd thoughtfully given me two years ago. (Yes, she and her relatives actually compiled their own cookbook ... what a great idea!) And called on Pillsbury for the crust (why even try to compete with the little red box?).
Talk about a perfect combination. The crispy crust oozing with that amazingly addictive, tart apricot filling tasted just like our much-loved treats from the 60s. Bob enjoyed it so much that he quickly ranked this Apricot Pie his all-time favorite, next to chocolate, of course!
You can bet I'll be baking Kim's Apricot Pie again and soon. Besides having a wonderful flavor, it is unbelievably easy, especially if you choose not to prepare your own crust. You just combine dried apricots and water; simmer on the stovetop till soft; add sugar, flour and spices; pour the cooked filling into a ready-made crust; top with a second crust, and bake. It's that simple.
But there're three things you should remember:
We like this delightful winter dessert served warm. Vanilla ice cream makes a nice topping if you're so inclined.
In a saucepan, cover the dried apricots with water. Cook on low heat until the apricots become soft. Add the sugar and continue cooking over a low fire. To thicken the filling, add approximately 2 tablespoons flour to a small amount of sugar (approximately ¼ cup) and mix well. Add to the cooked apricot mixture. Add a drop or two of almond flavoring and the cinnamon. Combine well and pour into the pie crust. Put second crust on and cut slits or decorate as desired.
Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on the crust. Then add small chips of butter before baking.
Cook at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees and cook until pie is baked, about 40 more minutes.
Note: The sugar may need to be adjusted if you have extra tart apricots.
This recipe was originally from Betty Wilson Smith, a relative of my dear friend Kim Adams.
More delicious dessert ideas: