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Brandied Apricot-Almond Slab Pie

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Serves ten.

Yields 1 large pie.

  • To learn more, read:
    A Pie in Hand
  • by Karen Barker from Fine Cooking
    Issue 106

Slab pies are like giant Pop-Tarts designed to feed a crowd. As the pie cools, the filling—made with both fresh and dried apricots—firms up enough that the slices can be eaten out of hand.

For the dough
  • 15 oz. (3-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 9 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) cold vegetable shortening, cut into 3 pieces
For the filling
  • 10-1/2 oz. (about 2 cups) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 12 oz. fresh apricots (about 6 small), pitted and sliced
  • 1-1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3-1/2 oz. (1 cup) sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
For assembly
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Make the dough

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and vegetable shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 12 pulses. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cold water over the mixture and pulse until the dough just starts to come together, 8 to 10 pulses more. If the mixture seems dry, add more water 1 tsp. at a time. Do not overprocess.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, and gather it into a rectangle that’s about 8 by 12 inches. Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Make the filling

In a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan, combine the dried apricots, sugar, wine, orange juice, and 2/3 cup water. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the apricots are very tender and can be mashed with a wooden spoon, 40 to 45 minutes. Add more water if the apricots are still not soft after most of the liquid has evaporated. The mixture should get thick and syrupy; don’t let it scorch. Add the fresh apricots and lemon juice and cook, stirring often, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Mash the mixture with a wooden spoon or potato masher so that it has a thick, jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat.

Stir 3/4 cup of the almonds, the brandy, and almond extract into the apricot mixture. Cool to room temperature and set aside. (The filling can be made, covered, and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.)

Assemble and bake the pie
Tip:
Seal the Pie Right: To seal the filled pie, press the fork down gently, just enough to create a good bond (and a pretty crimped effect), but not so hard that it pushes through to the second layer of dough or pierces it, which may cause the filling to leak.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with 1 tsp. water.

On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1/8-inch-thick, 12x18-inch rectangle. Be sure to loosen the dough several times and reflour underneath so that it doesn’t stick. Trim the dough into an 11x16-inch rectangle and transfer it to the baking sheet. Turn the baking sheet so that a long side faces you, and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Spread the apricot filling evenly over the bottom half of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold the top half of the dough over the filling, pressing along the edges to secure the sides. Press lightly along the edges with the back of a fork to seal. Brush egg wash all over the top of the dough. Using a paring knife, cut 5 small steam vents in the dough at about 3-inch intervals.

Bake until the pie is golden-brown, 55 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract to form a smooth glaze that’s just fluid enough to drizzle. With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the top of the pie and immediately sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Allow to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

When ready to serve, use a serrated knife to cut the pie. The pie is best eaten the day it’s made, but it will keep for 1 day, well wrapped, at room temperature.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 650; Fat (g): 32; Fat Calories (kcal): 280; Saturated Fat (g): 15; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 81; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 65; Cholesterol (mg): 80; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Alexandra Grablewski

I've made this many times and always to good reviews! It's easy, feeds a crowd and tastes great! I usually divide the dough in half and make two, that way more filling gets used. To the reviewer who found the crust to be leathery, it sounds like you may have overworked the dough. MIne is always buttery and flakey!

Made this recipe at least 10 times since it was in the magazine. Gets rav reviews from the family/friends everytime. The crust is especially good.

CAN I GIVE IT 10 STARS???!!! It was AMAZING! I did have extra filling, but we put it in a jar and gleefully spread it on toast and english muffins.

We made this for company and found it disappointing. The dough was leathery and not flakey or buttery tasting. The filling was delicious, but the recipe wasn't worth the effort.

Really good, but I had too much filling and had to take some out to get it closed.

is it possible to substitute apples ,peaches,or strawberries for the apricots. The crust seems just perfect.

8/10/10 I really enjoyed making this and it was delicious. I served it the day after baking & it was just fine. I also substituted orange liqueur.

This is absolutely delicious, and serves 10 generously. I was out of brandy, but substituted Grand Marnier, and it was perfect.

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