Especially Great in Winter When Fresh Fruit Cannot Be Had!
I read about these small thin pies more than 40 years ago. You can make them with the dried fruit of your choice. Bill and I love the apricot ones better than prune or even dried apples. They are delicious for breakfast with tea or coffee, or for dessert after dinner.
Get the best quality organic dried fruit that you can find.
The good stuff is more expensive but you can make it go a long way. I cook (in water), soften, and mash 1/3 to 1/2 pound of fruit at a time and refrigerate it to have on hand so I can quickly make a small pie every day. I also make the pie crust, take off what I need for the first pie and refrigerate the rest in plastic wrap. I get about 5 indian pies from a crust that is suppose to make one two crust pie. ( Note that I roll my crusts very thin.)
Pie crust does not keep well for long.
I have made mine last up to 5 days but 3 days is better. You can always make an extra pie and keep it for the next day. Or use a recipe that doesn’t make as much crust. I’ll give you both below.
It may be crazy, but if I have company coming I would make fresh crust. When I serve other people I want everything to score 11 on a freshness-scale of 1 to 10. They probably would never know, but I would. Guess its just a habit I got into many years ago. If someone just dropped by unexpectedly on the day I made the “last” pie however, I would not hesitate to serve it. (I know — don’t tell me — it makes no sense.)
Keeping the Softened (Cooked) Fruit
Watch your amount of fruit as well. I keep mine (after cooking) at least 5 days without problem, but be aware of the possibility of spoilage since your conditions may not be the same as mine.
How to Prepare the Pie
Its a great time saver to have the crust and filling already prepared since it only takes about ten minutes to put the pie together. Roll out the dough. Place in pie plate or on stainless steel cookie sheet. Spread a thin layer of fruit on the crust. (Once you make one you can adjust the amount of filling to your taste.) Place a few thin slivers of butter on the fruit if you desire. Roll out second crust. Place on top of crust with fruit. Seal edges. Make vent holes on top by piercing with fork. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 to 34 minutes. (I like to have the crust a little brown.)
Remove from oven and cool thoroughly for best flavor.
Dried Apricots (Cover with water. Simmer until soft. Mash.)
2 cups finely ground whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp of salt (cookbook calls for 1 teaspoon) (* see my note at the end)
2/3 cup of shortening (I use Spectrum Organic Shortening.)
For less crust:
1 1/2 cups of finely ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 tsp of salt
How to Prepare Crust and Fruit
#1 Sift salt and flour into mixing bowl. Add half of the shortening. (My pastry cutter was my grandmother’s. It’s very old, but I really enjoy using it.)
#2. With pastry cutter, cut in shortening until well mixed.
#3. Add the other half of the shortening and cut in until well mixed. It is very important to cut in half the shortening first and then the other half. The crust in no where near as good if you do it all at once. Just one of those unexplainable things.
#4. Cut in properly, this is what the flour and shortening will look like.
#5. Add a little cold water to a small section of the mixture. With fork mix water into that section. Continue until all mixture is moist and you can shape the ball of dough with your hands.
#6. Shape ball of dough and slightly knead it so it will hold together.
#7. It is important not to handle the dough anymore than what is absolutely necessary, otherwise the crust will be tough
#8. Ball of crust will look like this.
#9. Cut off what you need for one pie and wrap the rest in plastic wrap and store in frig.
#10. Just cover dried fruit with water. Simmer on low until very soft.
#11. Mash. Cool. Use some for your pie. Put rest in bowl and cover with plastic and refrigerate.
#12. Bottom crust rolled out and placed on cookie sheet. I am spreading the apricot on it.
#13. I’ve just rolled out the top layer and am placing it on top.
#14. Pinch edges and then pierce top randomly with fork.
#15. Finished Pie
#16. Have a slice!
* regarding the salt: I’ve started leaving the salt out of the pie crust. I’ve made it both ways plenty of times and as far as taste is concerned I don’t think it makes a difference. Also, it might be just me, but the crust seems to keep longer without the salt.
I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as Bill and I have over the years.
I want to stock my kitchen with organic products needed to cook & bake.
Would you please share your sources for organic ingredients?
There aren’t many local places here to purchase what is needed & the prices are pretty high for what I have located.
Such things as organic shortening,whole wheat pasta in bulk, EV olive oil, just various things you aren’t able to grow, but need to cook with.
Betty you might try the organic products at Nutsonline.com (flours, nuts, peanut butter, oats, whole wheaat noodles, some spices, long grain rice, dried chickpeas and bean, rolled oats) and Edenfoods.com.
WoodPraire Farm has THE best whole wheat flour in my opinion.
Vitacost and Drugstore.com are great for oils, vinegars, mayo, shortening, toothpaste and soap. They carry Spectrum and some Eden Foods like the whole grain spaghetti. Both have free shipping with orders over $49. which I always take advantage of.
For organic cheeses and such I have to wait until we go to Richmond or Fredericksburg to get them. I try to stock a good amount because when I run out its a loooooong time between.
Hope this helps.
Thanks so much, Theresa!
I’m looking forward to making pasta dishes with my roasted tomatoes from the freezer & organic whole wheat pasta.
My husband is a sweet freak & I’m really excited about being able to have healthy organic fruit pies for him. (He is borderline diabetic & can control it with his diet).
I forgot to mention that we planted 2 blueberry bushes (more to come) & 9-12 (can’t remember) thornless blackberries this summer! We’re really looking forward to more fresh ORGANIC fruit in our diet.
Thank you again for taking the time to share all that you do. It has made such a difference, for the better, in my garden.
Your encouragement REALLY helps me to keep going even when I’m not feeling my best.
Glad I could help Betty.