I was ridiculously excited when I got the annual email from the brilliant Yinzerella of Dinner is Served 1972, reminding me that it was once again coming up to Pieathalon time.
This annual pie fest is all about digging out vintage recipes and nominating them to pie mistress Yinzeralla, who puts them all in her virtual hat and sends us our recipes. Then it’s time to bake.
I nominated Empanada Mariscada from The Graham Kerr Cookbook. Graham Kerr, aka the Galloping Gourmet, was a bit of a weird childhood crush of mine. I loved watching his television show and desperately wanted to be one of the people he selected to join him for a tasting session at the end of the programme. So I can’t wait to hear how the recipe was.
In a thrilling twist this year, I was given a choice of recipes, as my fellow pie maker, Dr Bobb, was torn between two options. I could have chosen Pineapple Cottage Cheese Pie from the Bluenose Cookbook, aka Famous Yarmouth Recipes.
But pineapple and cottage cheese sounds like lunch when I’m going through some health kick or another. So I went for a sour cream apricot pie from The Cincinnati Cookbook, published in 1972.
The recipe suggested dried apricots, stewed. But apricots are in season here, so I went for fresh ones and didn’t stew them.
I also already had a baked pastry case lurking in the freezer so I used that. As I almost always do, I used Richard Bertinet’s recipe for pastry, which appears to be pretty much failsafe. I have finally learnt that I should always label before freezing, so I was confident that it was a sweet pastry case and that my pie wouldn’t have a quiche vibe going on.
This is a really straightforward recipe (especially if you have a pastry case already and don’t bother stewing your apricots…)
I made a half quantity (trying to shift some lockdown lbs). What took the longest was converting from cups to grams. Which I did in a frankly half-arsed way.
For the crispy topping, I rubbed 30g butter into 50g plain flour, then stirred in 60g soft brown sugar.
Then I mixed 250ml sour cream, 75g caster sugar, 20g plain flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon almond extract (that was widely difficult to source). I beat that all together with a hand blender, then stirred in around 100g chopped apricots.
I don’t fully trust my oven and I was right not to – the pie is meant to bake for 25 minutes before you add the topping, then another 20 minutes. I went for 15 and 10 and that seemed about right. I also reduced the temperature a little from the recipe and baked at 180°C.
I had quite high hopes (and not just because I had to make the rather peculiar Hawaiian Banana Pie last year). I had a little piece before lunch, just to report back for your benefit. Then I had a little bit more. And then another bit. It is absolutely delicious and will be making another appearance soon!