Monday, January 17, 2011

Warm Apricot Pie

Last night we had Mum and Bobby over for dinner. They will be looking after our house when we go away on holiday on Thursday. Since we were broken into I am worried every time we leave the house empty that they might come back again. Although we were lucky they didn't ransack the house, the feeling of insecurity can take a long time to subside. As well as that poor Harry has been having terrible nightmares ever since he got back from his dad's house about monsters and them trying to break into the window. At least mum and Bobby will be here pretty much all the time so I'm sure the house will be ok. 

For dinner I made a boneless leg of lamb which I cooked on the BBQ. I marinated it in Annabel Langbein's Spicy Mix and it was really, really delicious. The marinade is so good that I will make some to take away with us to marinate lamb chops in as the full recipe makes quite a bit and can be stored in the fridge for a week. It is well worth making for those of you who have her book. For anyone else who might want it let me know and I can post the recipe here. I served it with a roasted vegetable salad of potato, kumara, red onion, whole garlic cloves and rosemary. Also made was a delicious corn salad from Julie Biuso (another of my favourite cooks), which has fresh corn, tomato, avocado, basil and a lovely lemony/mustard dressing.

Dessert was a toss up between this Warm Apricot Pie and a Plum and Vanilla Cake both from Bill Granger's book 'bills food'. I may make the plum cake for work tonight if I get a chance as it looks really yummy too. I was glad to make something form this book as I have had it for ages and have only made a few things from it. I love Bill Granger's whole food philosophy. He uses simple, fresh ingredients and doesn't overdo the fat and decadence (although he can pull it out of the hat on occasion), instead focusing on clean, tasty, well matched flavours. This pie was no exception. It was all about the apricots which were showcased in a crisp and lovely pastry that was very easy to make. I just served mine with softly whipped cream but ice cream would be great as well, as would a nice creme anglaise. The only thing I found was that my apricots were not quite ripe enough which made it a bit sour in parts. I really should have made a creme chantilly (basically cream whipped with icing sugar and vanilla) to counteract that, but I hadn't realised that the some of the apricots were still a bit tart. Regardless this would be great with any other stone fruit as well.

Warm Apricot Pie

1 kg apricots cut in half and the stone removed
1/2 c caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
25 gm butter cut into small pieces
caster sugar to sprinkle

2 c flour
2 Tbsp caster sugar
180 gm cold butter
5 Tbsp iced water

Toss the apricots with the sugar and vanilla.

Pastry- Process the flour and sugar with the butter in a food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the iced water and process until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Oven to 200 C. Roll pastry out to about 32 cm and place in a greased or nonstick pie dish allowing the pastry to drape over the sides. Put the apricot mixture in and dot over the butter and fold over the pastry sides. Brush with water and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Bake for 45 mins or until the filling is bubbling and pie is golden. 

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