Some flavors just go together: Peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, coffee and doughnuts. One of my favorites? Apricots and almonds. This is a classic flavor pairing, and is just as delicious in savory dishes as it is in desserts and sweets—like these lovely, easy hand pies.
Refrigerated pie crust dough and a few simple ingredients make quick work of this dessert. Feel free to use canned or frozen apricots, if fresh are not in season where you live. They work beautifully!
Simply cook the fruit to thicken and release the excess juices. Then place the filling—along with some crumbled almond paste and sliced almonds—atop pie crust that you've cut into circles. You'll top those with the remaining pie crust circles.
These look so impressive, and no one will ever guess how easy they are to make!
Apricot-Almond Hand Pies
4 apricots (either fresh or canned), peeled, pitted and cubed
1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1 refrigerated pie crust dough
1/4 cup almond paste, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon milk
Photos by Sheri Silver
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the apricots, 1 tablespoon of sugar, almond extract and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, till sugar is dissolved and fruit begins to simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook till fruit thickens and starts to break down. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
3. Using a 2 1/2" to 3" glass or cookie cutter, cut circles out of your pie crust dough and place half on your prepared baking sheet, re-rolling scraps till you've used up all the dough.
4. Divide the filling evenly among half the circles, followed by the almond paste and sliced almonds. Brush the edges with a little water and top with the remaining circles. Use a fork to crimp the edges and place a few slits in the tops with a small knife. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake pies for 15 minutes, or till golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.