Great Dried Fruit Makes Great Pie

Apricot season is ephemeral, and in many areas it is difficult to find decent fresh apricots at any time, disappointing those who crave apricot pies and tarts. Luckily, full-flavored dried apricots are available all year and make great pies, alone or in combination with other dried fruits.

Dried fruit pie "always goes over big," says The Professor. He rehydrates the fruit and mixes it with a small amount of brown sugar, a splash of bourbon or Grand Marnier, a bit of binder such as flour, and butter, and puts the filling in his favorite pie crust. "The best ever was a combination of the following fruits, ALL dried: apricots, plums (dried yellow plums), prunes, Bing cherries, raisins, peaches, pears, and apples," he says.

chinaplate recommends this double-crusted apricot tart with cornmeal crust, and says it has "one of my favorite tart crusts ever (easy and great crunch/flavor)."

And if you're looking for superior dried fruit, Chowhounds can't say enough about ApricotKing, best known for its Blenheim apricot products. Its dried fruit is "spectacularly good," raves greygarious. And DaisyM says, "The slip pit apricots are the best apricots I've ever tasted. They are incredibly moist. You can't compare regular dried apricots to these. It is so rare to find something that you say, 'so that's what it is supposed to taste like.' This is one of them."

"Awesome grower, great customer service, outstanding products," agrees HillJ. "I have 3 large bags of dried apricots in my freezer as I type here. I use them for all sorts of snacking, baking, entrées. But I also soak a handful in warm water and then whirl them in a food processor for the BEST instant apricot purée/jam ever with my morning yogurt or smoothie."

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