Monday, November 29, 2010

Pi R Scared! (of lions)

My (Jared’s friend Laurel’s) mother, Kate, is a self-taught baking wonderwoman. This here is the recipe for a Winter-Fruit Pie that has won pie-baking contests and satisfied bellies for years. It is a thick, rich, christmasy pie that is great fresh, as leftovers, with ice-cream and/or milk. There are lots of ingredients, but they’re all locally available in the fall and winter. You could even use your own dried fruit if you are ambitious and dehydrator-savvy.

You will need these things:


1 cup chopped, dried apricots

¾ cup chopped, pittedprunes

1 ½ cup water

½ cup orange juice, preferably fresh

1 cup dark raisins (or a combination of dark and golden raisins)

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 large cooking apple, peeled cored and diced

¼ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground gloves

Grated rind of 1 orange


2 ¼ cups flour (all purpose, pastry, whole-wheat pastry)

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ sticks cold butter (or substitute ½ cup vegetable shortening)

4-6 TBs ice water


First make a pie crust, and let it chill in the freezer while you make the filling, or make it the day before, or have it all ready before you start. Whatever works for your timing.

My mom uses lard; this is a simpler and lard-free version. Feel free to use your preferred recipe, but make enough for a double-crust pie.

Mix flour and salt. Cut in butter using pastry cutter (or two knives or forks) until mixture is even and resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle in water a tablespoon at a time and mix until dough is just moist enough to hold together.

Shape dough into two flattish disks, one slightly larger than the other. Chill about 30 min.

Roll out half of the dough and fit it into a 10” pie pan.

Now make the filling! You can do this while the crust is chilling!

Chop the apricots and prunes. Putting some flour on the knife and cutting-board helps prevent stickiness. Cook the apricots and prunes in 1-½ cups of water at a medium high heat in a large saucepan for 5 minutes until the fruit is soft.

Remove the pan from heat and add the remaining ingredients to the cooked fruit in the pan. Mix well and bring it to a simmer on medium-high heat.

Spoon the hot filling into the rolled-out crust.

The smaller dough-ball is the top crust. You can cut it into strips and form a lattice crust, or cut it in to decorative shapes with cookie cutters. We chose lion shaped.

We only like two kinds of pie. Hot and cold... and lion.

Place them over the filling. Sprinkle the crust lightly with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is starting to bubble, covering the crust with foil at the end if necessary (to prevent the crust from getting too dark).

Kate’s Patented Pie Tips:

1) Leftover crust can be baked for a few minutes with cinnamon and sugar on top. They are crispy amazing unhealthy cookies.

2) You can tell a pie is done when it is “talking”, or you can actually hear the bubbles in the filling.