Apricot Pineapple Pie
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There's no question that fruit pie is best made with fresh fruit, but if the season or other factors preclude that, you can make very good pie with frozen or even canned fruit. I think the secret is to use minimal sugar and minimal or no thickeners, thus sparing you from a crust full of goo (I sometimes use tapioca instead of flour or cornstarch). I purposefully make this one, and most of my pies, tart.
You could make this with whatever crust recipe you like, even, if you must, premade crust. But try making your own, which is much easier than many people think. It doesn't have to be perfect to be delicious.
- Pastry for a 2-crust pie in a 9-inch pan (see below)
- 2 15-ounce cans of apricot halves, drained
- 1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup sugar (you can adjust for sweetness the next time you make the pie), plus sugar for dusting the top crust
- Fresh whipped cream for garnish
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter
- 3 to 5 tablespoons of cold water
For the crust
Place flour into a large bowl and stir in salt.
Cut the cold butter into small pieces into the flour. Then, using a pastry blender or two butter knives in a criss-cross fashion, cut the butter into the flour, aiming to make pieces about the size of large rice grains. The mix will look like a coarse meal. Then, when the butter looks fairly evenly cut in, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of water with a fork, mashing the flour mixture into dough.
Gradually add water as needed (but you shouldn't need more than 5 tablespoons) until the dough just sticks together.
Use your hands to form it into a ball, then break the ball in half and wrap each half in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare the filling.
Place the well-drained apricots and pineapple and sugar into a bowl and loosely mix together.
When the pastry is chilled, roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured surface until it's about 2 inches bigger in diameter than the pan. Use a spatula to lift up one half of the dough disc and fold it lightly onto itself and then lift the whole thing and place it into the pan.
Pour the fruit into the pan, which should be almost full but not overflowing.
Roll out the top crust and carefully place it on top, pinching the edges together with the bottom crust and using your thumbs to flute it if you wish.
Prick the top crust several times with a fork, sprinkle with half a spoonful of sugar, and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven on the middle rack.
After baking for about a half hour at 425 degrees, reduce heat to 350 and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more. Keep an eye on the pie and remove when it's golden brown or slightly browner, depending on your taste, then let cool on a rack if you have one.
Serve with scoops of real whipped cream.
-- Bob Batz Jr.
First Published January 17, 2008 12:00 am