Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 9: National Apricot Day

Today is National Apricot Day. I honestly can't say that I have ever eaten a fresh apricot.  My experience with them has only been through the dried version.  Though I don't mind eating them raw, I typically prefer using them in my baking, which is exactly where I am going with them today.  The first thing that comes to mind is my mom's recipe for apricot fried pies.  I know, the words "fried" and "fitness" cannot be used in the same sentence, but I can't resist celebrating this day without just one!

Apricot Fried Pies
Yield:  14 pies
(250 calories each)

6 oz. dried apricots
1-3/4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil

1.  Cut dried apricots in small pieces and place in saucepan with water.  Bring to a boil.  Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
2.  Add sugar; stir, and cook for 5-10 minutes more.  Let cool while making dough.
3.  Using a pastry cutter, blend shortening, salt, flour, and baking powder.  When mixture resembles coarse crumbs, add water and knead until dough comes together.  Divide dough into 14 equal pieces (approx. 2 tbsp).
4.  Roll each piece of dough into a circle and top with filling mixture (heaping tbsp).  Fold dough and crimp edge with with a fork dipped in flour.
5.  Heat the vegetable oil and fry 2 pies at a time in a 10 inch skillet, turning pie over when brown on bottom.  Drain on paper towels.

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