October 25, 2014

Wild and Free: Dazzling Apricot Pie!

NOTE: Julie and Jane have just announced their next workshop! It will be taking place on Sunday, August 19th, from 10AM – 3PM, here in Truchas. Titled “What’s in Season,” the cost is $25. I highly recommend it to any of you in the area. I’ll be there for sure! Call Julie at 505-689-1013 to reserve your place.

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As most of you know by now, I had a nearly life-transforming experience at the wild and raw food workshop my friends Julie Taggart and Jane McKay put on recently (see previous posts Wild and Free: A Feast From the Land, Wild and Free: Oregon Grape Cooler, Wild and Free: Apricot and Purslane Salad, Wild and Free: Drink Your Weeds!, and Wild and Free: The Main Course). And this pie sealed the deal for me.

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Raw pie? Really? But what about the uncontested, very best part of any pie—the flaky, browned, butter pastry crust hot from the oven? Surely this raw imposter couldn’t hold a candle to mom’s homemade loganberry pie, right? WRONG!

I can’t state this strongly enough. This is a desert you could serve anybody—a king, a queen, a princess—me. It was shockingly sumptuous.

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I’ll admit to looking askance at the raw crust sitting in a pie tin waiting to be filled when I first arrived. It was made by simply blending together pecans and dates and pressing them into the tin. No way was it going to satisfy THIS pie aficionado. Wrong again.

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In fact it was generally agreed that this pie was the crowning glory to a remarkable day. How better to end our time together than by sitting on Julie’s patio, a storm coming in over the mountain, thunder rumbling in the distance, sharing the purest sense of summer (these apricots grow semi-wild here in Truchas—a little tangy along with their own subtle sweetness)? The flavors and textures blended together to create such a surprise. I hope every single one of you will do yourselves the favor of trying this exquisite recipe.

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Once again from Katrina Blair’s wonderful cookbook, Local Wild Life—Turtle Lake Refuge’s Recipes For Living Deep (adapted from an apple pie recipe):

The Freshest Apricot Pie Alive

Crust

2 cups pecans, 2 cups dates

Filling

Fill a medium cuisinart bowl with fresh, pitted apricots
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup honey
fresh cardamom seed, ground
fresh nutmeg, ground

In the cuisinart, grind the dates and pecans. Form into the bottom of a pie pan.

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Put apricots, lemon juice, honey and spices in the cuisinart and process the apricots ever so slightly until you have a sort of apricot jam to fill your crust. Spread the filling in the crust and decorate with wild berries and edible flowers. It is delicious eaten right away or the pie can be served chilled.

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Alternatively, Katrina suggests filling the above crust with whole pitted cherries, drizzled with pureed cherries (this sounds divine to me!). Or use peaches or wild berries or mixed fruits, and add sweet spices. Sweeten pie fillings with honey or maple syrup or agave nectar. Try anything!

Love to you all,
Jeane

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