Sunday, June 3, 2012

Strawberry Apricot Pie

                                                   “I hope they have health food in Ireland
                                                           and strawberry apricot pie.”*


Strawberry Apricot Pie
(Listening: Marc Copland “Some More Love Songs”)

I had never heard of strawberry apricot pie until I heard it mentioned in the lyrics of a song by the Roches from their first self-titled album (yes, they called them albums back then), which was masterfully under produced by Robert Fripp.
Any source of inspiration is fine. Apricots and strawberries are not in season at the same time here in the east. But we can get local strawberries and apricots from California at the same time. Local apricots will be along in the weeks to come, but more on that later.
Apricots can be hit or miss; you can have one that tastes perfectly sweet, and then another that is a bit tart. You’ll need to test one of your apricots and perhaps adjust the sweetness accordingly. The ripe apricots I used were pretty much in the ballpark, sweet/tart–wise so I didn’t push up the added sugar. If you’ve followed the other pies/tarts, you will see that this one falls in line with the others with regard to the amount of sugar in the recipe. And as with the other pie recipes, you could omit the top crust and cover the pie with crumb topping.

Strawberry Apricot Pie:
For one 9” pie
Double recipe of pie crust dough

1 pint  Strawberries (2 cups when prepared)
8-9 small Apricots, a pint, about 14 ounces, 3 cups when quartered)
½ cup sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water

1. Wash and drain the strawberries; remove the stems and cut them in half lengthwise. Place the berries into a bowl. Wash the apricots. Cut them in half lengthwise, remove and discard the pits. Cut the apricots into quarters and add them to the bowl of strawberries. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Let the fruit stand for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Roll out one disk of the crust dough on a floured surface to the thickness of 1/8”. Lightly grease the pie plate and fit the crust into the pie plate. Trim around the edge, leaving about ½ “ overhang of dough. Refrigerate the crust until needed.

3. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the cornstarch with the fruit until dissolved. If you are using a top crust, roll out the dough and set it aside. Fill the pie with the fruit. Brush the edge of the crust with the egg wash and top the pie with the second piece of dough. Seal and crimp the two pieces of dough together. Cut a small steam hole into the top. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar. Place the pie onto a baking pan and put the pie into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool. Serves 8.

I still don’t know whether all those years ago if either Maggie, Terre, or Suzzy found strawberry apricot pie in Ireland. You don’t have to travel that far.

*from “The Troubles,” lyrics by Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy Roche

Another great outing from this under-appreciated pianist. (perhaps it's because he records for a small German label?)  Superb harmonic sense..a top notch player. This is a follow up, if you will, to his 2005 recording, "Some Love Songs." The material ranges from Joni Mitchell (who Copland draws from often), Ron Carter, Cole Porter, and others. Each piece is rethought, re-imagined.  Copland leads his trio (Drew Gress, bass and Jochen Rueckert, drums) through a quick tempo performance of "My Funny Valentine" that briefly hints at the melody until the end. The result is more Copland, less Rogers and Hart.

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