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Ginger-Apricot Pie

Ginger-Apricot Pie
Apricots, small cousins of the peach, are native to northern China, where they still grow wild today. They are cultivated in many warm climates worldwide, from California to the south of France, but have only a brief and highly anticipated season. Sweet and tangy, they are available from late spring to mid-summer. Look for apricots that are fragrant and have rich orange skin with a pink blush. If fully ripe, they give slightly when gently pressed. To hasten ripening, put the apricots in a paper bag along with a banana, then loosely close the bag.

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolled-out basic pie dough rounds (see related recipe at left)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 lb. apricots, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 5 cups)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange or lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie pan or dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving 3/4 inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the second dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Place the apricots in a large bowl, sprinkle with the orange zest and the sugar mixture, and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.

Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, round cookie cutter or a small, sharp knife, cut 4 or 5 holes or slits in the top to allow steam to escape during baking. Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely to set. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.