I made several jars of apricot jam last month and was looking for uses.
So when I heard a good friend of ours was giving a birthday party dinner, I offered to bring along an apricot pie.
Here in France, people like to have a sweet dessert after the cheese course at the end of a dinner, before the coffee and brandy. People here arrive relatively late for dinner so it was nearly midnight when the group of twelve reached the pie stage, but it went down very well.
I used prepared shortcrust pastry (pâte brisée) but you can make your own with 400 grammes of flour, 200 grammes of butter, some salt and some lukewarm water. Mix and knead until you have a dough that does not stick anymore and flatten it with a rolling pin.
- Two packages of shortcrust pastry or 400 grammes home-made shortcrust pastry.
- 200 grammes of apricot jam
- 10 fresh apricots
- Almond shavings
- Caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Roll out one one of the prepared pastry packages on its paper and put it in a pie form. If using home-made pastry, first put some baking or parchment paper in the form. This prevents the pie from sticking to the form, the alternative is to use butter or oil but that adds unnecessary fat.
- Line the inside of the dough in the form with another piece of baking paper. Then fill the inside of the pie with special ceramic balls or rice, dried beans or any other material that will allow you to fill the pie casing.
- Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the balls and the paper from inside the pie. Put back into the oven for five minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash and halve the apricots and remove the pits.
- Take the second round of shortcrust pastry (prepared or home made) and slice several narrow bands. On the featured picture you see serrated ribbons because I used a tagliatelle wheel cutter.
- Pour the apricot jam in the pie, place the apricot halves skin down in the jam, spread them evenly and use as many halves as needed to fill the pie.
- Scatter almond flakes over the apricots and make a grid form with the pastry ribbons. Attach the end of the ribbons to the pastry form edge, cutting excess ribbons where needed. Sprinkle caster sugar over the top.
- Put back in the oven for 20 minutes. Check every five minutes to which extent the pie is browning. After the 20 minutes, or when the grid starts to become too dark, put a lid on the pie and continue cooking for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on whether the raw apricots have turned soft (test with a fork). At the end, take the lid off and let it cool.
- Take the pie out of the form and remove the paper. You could dissolve sugar in some water and a beaten egg white and use this to glaze the top of the pie. I did not do that.