Strawberry-Apricot Pie

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I hope they have health food in Dublin and strawberry apricot pie
If they don’t have those things in Dublin we’ll probably die 

For years—decades—I have wanted to make this pie. Strawberry-apricot pie. Ever since I first heard those three words strung together in the song “The Troubles” by The Roches.

This was back in 1979 or 1980 when their first album was released and my sister brought it home from college. So when I say decades, I am not exaggerating.

“The Troubles,” which is funny and clever and tender, like so many Roches songs, isn’t really about pie (or maybe it is a little). But the pie is what has stuck in my food-fixated mind all these years.

For practical reasons more than anything else, I never got around to it. Until a few years ago good apricots were hard to come by here in the U.S.—at least where I live. (They still don’t compare to the juicy, dense-fleshed ones I used to gobble up as a kid in Italy but they have gotten a lot better.) And their season never seems to quite coincide with that of strawberries.

In fact, other than the Roche sisters’ musical hat tip, I’ve never seen or heard any mention of strawberry-apricot pie—not in a cookbook, not on a diner menu, not the one time I went to Dublin. Maybe such a pie combination, as divine as it sounded to me, didn’t really work. Maybe it was nothing more than a songwriter’s whimsy, or literary license.

The other day, armed with a basket of good ripe apricots, farmers’ market strawberries that I had bought and frozen a couple of weeks ago, and my old Betty Crocker cookbook (the starting point for many pies I have baked over the years), I decided it was time to find out. In a happy coincidence, I conducted my experiment just in time for the second annual #PieParty, which is taking place today on Facebook and across the Internet (here’s what I made last year).

Even before it went into the oven I knew this pie was going to exceed my expectations. I could tell by the delicious pink slurry that formed in the mixing bowl as I folded together the juicy pieces of fruit with sugar, spices, and flour. The filling thickened beautifully as the pie bubbled away at 425 degrees, and when it was done it was the color of a Hawaiian sunset.

It tasted like everything you conjure in your mind when you say that mouthful of a three-letter word: pie. Buttery, intensely fruity, fragrant. A harmony of sweet and tangy flavors. A pie worthy of a song; a pie that hit all the right notes.

What pie hits all the right notes for you? I’d love to hear about it.

Makes one 9-inch pie

Strawberry-Apricot Pie

A hearty thanks to the Roches for inspiring this pie!

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • About 5 tablespoons ice-cold water

  • For the filling:
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
  • 3 cups diced fresh apricots (no need to peel)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse briefly. Scatter the butter around the work bowl and pulse until the mixture has formed coarse crumbs. With the motor running, drizzle in the water and process just until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into two disks, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, gently mix together the strawberries, apricots, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll the larger piece into an 11-inch disk and gently press it into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving the overhang. Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Roll the smaller piece of dough into a 10-inch disk and, using a fluted pastry wheel, cut the disk into 10 (3/4-inch-thick) strips. Arrange the strips over the filling in a lattice pattern and trim off the ends. Fold the overhang over and pinch it to seal it and form a decorative rim.

Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is bubbly and thick. Serve warm with a little heavy cream poured over or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Copyright 2012 Domenica Marchetti

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21 Responses to Strawberry-Apricot Pie

  1. amelia from z tasty life June 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    what a fantastic inspiration! bellissima 🙂

  2. LiztheChef June 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Amazingly, it never entered my birdbrain mind to combine two of my favorite fresh fruits – this looks like my July 4th pie. Lovely!

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Thank you, Liz. Isn’t that the funniest thing? It is only because of that Roches song that I thought about it at all. And it seems so natural. I really had been dreaming about making this for the longest time. Don’t know why I waited so long! Hope you are enjoying summer…

  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    What a beautiful pie! I love the lattice topping and strawberry with apricot sounds delicious.

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Welcome Laura, and thanks for your kind words!

  4. ciaochowlinda June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    And why hasn’t this combo of fruits been heralded anywhere other than in the song by the Roches? It sounds divine and now I’ll be on the hunt for apricots and strawberries. Thanks also for the link to the song which I’d never heard – delightful. I think I was busy raising babies and although I was a folk singer in the 60s, never listened to the Roches in the 70s and 80s. Their name came up in a memorial for my good friend Alessandra, in a tribute given by her daughter Valentina at the funeral a year ago. You may even have gone to school with her. Valentina and Mariana M. and their brother Jacopo all went to PHS- did you know them by any chance?

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Linda, we have so many connections that it seems impossible that we haven’t already met. (we will have to fix that!) I don’t think I know Valentina or Mariana, but I’m sure we would have had mutual friends. I adore the Roches. That fuzzy old video doesn’t do them justice. They are wonderful live. I used to see them at the Bottom Line in NY. Incredibly talented a capella singers ~ and songwriters. Thanks for reading.

  5. kellypea June 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    I love how you came up with this pie and can completely understand taking years to finally do something I’ve always wanted to do — or bake, in this case! Fun pie day — and your pie has to go on my baking list. Soon.

  6. Jamie June 21, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    What a stunning, succulent pie! If it tastes half as good as it looks then it must already be pretty good. But your words have stirred up images and titillated my taste buds and I know that it tastes fabulous! I love the satisfaction of waiting years to make something that has been rattling around inside our head only to finally discover that it exceeds all expectations. Happy Pie Day, dear!

  7. Meeta June 21, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    Yes i agree those Italian apricots are simply luscious. You are a very patient one – waiting years to make such a divine looking pie. I might have succumbed a lot earlier. I am really loving the flavor combination in this! Lovely!

  8. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen June 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    This looks so beautiful & I’m sure it tastes divine! Your recipe is so simple so I’ll bookmark it and to try soon now that all the fruits are sweet, ripe and in season. Thanks for sharing this, Domenica! Stay cool in this heatwave!

  9. nancy baggett June 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Wow, that looks so amazing. Can I drive to your house for a slice?! Funny, I’ve never tried apricots and strawberries, but apricots are raspberries are fabulous, so I will have to try this combo, too.

  10. Matthew Turner November 27, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    This pie is really wonderful. I actually served it to Suzzy Roche and her daughter, Lucy, and they loved it so much that they wanted more for breakfast! I asked Suzzy about the lyric, and she said there was a restaurant in NYC that served it.

    • Domenica Marchetti November 27, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Matthew, thanks so much for writing. Your comment absolutely made my day. I’m a longtime (and I mean long) fan of the band and have always been curious about that lyric, not to mention the pie itself. It’s become one of our favorites since I developed the recipe a couple of years ago. So glad you ~ and they ~ enjoyed it! A few weeks Lucy Roche posted a photo on Instagram of a strawberry-apricot pie made by some fans. Might that be you? Cheers, D

      • Matthew Turner November 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

        I would bet so! They did a concert in our home on 11/10. I took leftover pie to work, and people at work are still raving about it.

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