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Apricot Pie

Servings: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, 6-8 servings
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening (chilled)
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) cold unsalted butter
Ice water (6 to 8 tablespoons)

Apricot Filling:
2 (21 ounce) cans apricot pie filling

1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling over unbaked top crust (optional)

Egg Wash:
1 egg white, lightly beaten

You will need a 9-inch pie dish (glass, metal or ceramic).

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Cut butter into 1/4-inch slices. Using a pastry blender, cut the chilled shortening and butter into the flour and salt mixture until it forms coarse crumbs. The crumbs should resemble tiny split peas. Sprinkle the flour and fat mixture with 4 tbsp. ice water. Gently mix, using a fork. If the crust seems dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. Only add enough water to make the dough hold together when a small piece is pinched between the fingers. Mix dough gently and quickly. Gather dough to form a ball, but do not overwork it.

Cut the dough in half and form into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the smaller ball of dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. It will be used later for the top crust. Flatten the larger ball of dough into a 4 to 6 inch disk and place on a cool floured surface. Starting in the center, roll the crust outward. After every couple of rolls, rotate the rolling angle about 45 degrees until you have rolled all around the crust. Always start rolling from the middle.

Check dough frequently to see if it is sticking to the surface. If it begins to stick, dust lightly with flour. Do not use any more flour than necessary. Roll dough until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick and 2 inches larger in diameter than an inverted 9-inch pie dish.

Transfer dough to pie dish by partially rolling the dough around the rolling pin and gently lifting the dough onto the pie dish. Be careful to center over the pie dish without stretching the dough. Once it is properly placed, unroll the dough from the rolling pin. Gently press the dough against the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Trim the edges to about 1/2 inch, fold the overhang under so the dough is flush with the edge of the pie dish and flute the edges. Place in the refrigerator while rolling out dough for the top crust.

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

Roll out the smaller ball of dough in the same manner as the larger ball. Roll this dough out to approximately 1/8-inch thick and 10 inches in diameter.

Remove the bottom crust from the refrigerator and spoon the canned filling into the crust, spreading out evenly. Moisten the edge of the crust with water and then center the dough for the top crust over the filled bottom crust. Transfer the dough for the top crust in the same manner as you did for the bottom crust. Trim the overhang so that it is just slightly larger than the bottom crust. Fold the top overhang slightly over the bottom and then turn both under so they are flush with the edge of the pie dish. Flute edges as desired. Make slits in the top crust or poke several times with a fork to allow steam to escape when baking.

After cutting slits in top crust for venting, brush the crust with lightly beaten egg white and if desired, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over top of crust.

Place pie in preheated 375°F/190°C oven and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. If needed, tent top of pie after 20 to 25 minutes of baking with aluminum foil (or use pie crust shields if you have them) if crust is browning too quickly. Remove from oven and transfer pie to wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

Pie can be stored at room temeprature in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for up to 24 hours. After that, pie should be refrigerated.

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, 6-8 servings.

Date: May 4, 2006