Recipe for Brandied Apricot-Almond Delight from Fine Cooking Magazine Serves 10. Yields 1 large pie. “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.”—Fine Cooking
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
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
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, 12×18-inch rectangle. Be sure to loosen the dough several times and reflour underneath so that it doesn’t stick. Trim the dough into an 11×16-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.