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MainRecipesBreakfast | Brandied Apricot-Almond Slab Pie

   Brandied Apricot-Almond Slab Pie submitted by Mom Johnson
Wow! This pie is over-the-top wonderful! The recipe is from the August/September 2010 issue of Fine Cooking. It's a bit time-consuming but so good! Fresh apricots are in season now...enjoy!

Serves 10-15.

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v For the Dough:
v 3 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
v 3 T. granulated sugar
v 1/2 tsp. salt
v 1 cup plus 2 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
v 3 T. cold vegetable shortening, cut into 3 pieces

v For the Filling:
v 2 cups dried apricots, coarsely shopped
v 2/3 cup granulated sugar
v 2/3 cup dry white wine
v 1/3 cup orange juice
v 6 small-medium fresh apricots, pitted and sliced
v 1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
v 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted, divided
v 1 1/2 T. brandy
v 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract

v Drizzle:
v 1/2 cup powdered sugar
v 1 1/2 T. cream or milk
v 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

v 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, about 10-12 pulses. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cold water over the mixture and pulse until the dough just starts to come together, 8-10 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 wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

v 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, 40-45 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 lemon juice and fresh apricots 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 heat. Stir in 3/4 cup almonds, the brandy and the almond extract into the apricot mixture. Cool to room temperature and set aside. (I made the filling and the dough the night before I baked the pie.) Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

v Assemble and bake the pie: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1/8 inch thick, 12 by 18 inch rectangle. (I let the dough sit on the floured board for about 20 minutes to soften slightly.) Be sure to loosen the dough several times and reflour underneath so that it doesn't stick. Carefully fold dough in half and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment. Open dough and spread apricot filling on the bottom half of the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Fold the top half over the filling, pressing along the edges to seal. Press lightly along the edges with the back of a fork to seal. Using a paring knife, cut 5 small steam vents in the dough at about 3 inch intervals.

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

v In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream and almond extract to form a smooth glaze that's just fluid enough to drizzle. Drizzle 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. (I served mine warm about 20 minutes out of the oven!)

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