I bought a whole bunch of fruit and had every intention to start eating clean and fresh for the summer, but then an impromptu trip to Tuscany changed my plans. While I never actually made it to the land of chianti and bistecca alla fiorentina, I still managed to do something decent with my time. Fearing initially that all my fresh fruit would spoil, I knew I’d have to do something with it fast.
So, what do you do with an abundance of fruit that needs to be repurposed super fast? The answer—like most of the answers to my life’s dilemmas—was to bake a pie.
Though cherries are in season now and are lovely to munch on, the apricots that I picked up happened to look sweet, but were actually quite sour. Given the fact that they needed a bit of sweetness, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with making a pie.
A note to my bakers, I recommend blanching the apricots before adding them to the pie filling. To do this, you just need to bring a pot of water to a boil and let the apricots have a lil bath for about 2 minutes. Drain the pot and the fruit skins should peel right off!
While I’ve never been the best baker, I find myself doing lots of baking in Italy. It’s sort of what I’ve become known for, which is kind of what keeps me striving to continue whipping up sweet creations. Pies, cookies or cakes often require a bit more time and concentration from me, but sometimes I find that there’s nothing more relaxing than baking.
Of course, with the crazy busy week I’ve had between our school’s virtual study trip to South Africa and trying to squeeze in time to write articles, blog posts and research story leads, I figured I needed a bit of R&R, even if my idea of rest and relaxation involves standing in front of a warm stove, rolling out buttery pie dough.
Thankfully, my labour of love was a success. I managed to eat half the pie in a matter of 24 hours, before deciding to pawn off my pie to Debora, who very much enjoyed a slice with her afternoon espresso in between her many calls.
Not too sweet but not too tart, this cherry apricot pie adds a bit of sugar and a bit of honey to balance the sourness of the apricots. Like most of my recipes lately, I’ve been experimenting with different honeys in my cooking and I have to say the wildflower honey does wonders in this recipe as it’s so fresh and sweet! For my Canadians, miele millefiori is similar to the kind of honey you can find at your local farmer’s market.
For the adventurous pie makers out there, go crazy with the top pie layer. Initially, I had wanted to make a lattice topping but unfortunately I had a dinner to attend and sort of ran out of time and some patience. However, I promise that my next pie will be a bit more creative in its aesthetics, but for now I’m just happy that it tasted good.
Perfectly flakey and bursting with colourful and juicy fresh fruit, this cherry apricot pie is a great dessert to make for summer get-togethers!
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Cherry Apricot Pie
*Makes 10 servings *
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces
4-6 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, beaten
3 cups fresh apricots, blanched to remove skin, pitted and chopped
2 cups cherries, pitted and quartered
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon honey (I used miele millefiori)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
To make the crust, in a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour and salt.
Add the butter and pulse a few more times until the mixture forms lima bean-size pieces.
Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture is just moist enough to hold together.
Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic, and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In the meantime, start the pie filling. In a bowl, add roughly chopped apricots (see note about blanching) and cherries, sugar, honey and cornstarch. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover the pie with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and add pie filling.
Roll out the second dough disc and cover the pie, making sure to crimp down the edges and cut into the top to let air escape.
Brush with egg wash and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the dough is golden and flaky.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving!