We love this pie! Bruce first developed this dessert for our 900-recipe opus, THE ULTIMATE COOK BOOK (which you can find here). It's our suet-free answer to mincemeat--and way tastier, in our almost humble opinion. Lots of dried fruit, many intense flavors--you need vanilla ice cream for this one. Or maybe crème anglaise.
If you'd like to hear our podcast about this recipe, check out this link or look for the media player on the main recipe page of this site. You can find this specific episode on the drop-down menu at the center top of the player.
If you've got company for the holidays, you'll want this recipe!
Makes one 9-inch pie (10 - 12 servings--because it's so rich!)
- 2 cups pitted prunes (about 12 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups dried apricots (about 6 ounces)
- 1 cup dried cranberries (about 5 ounces)
- 1 cup dried apples (about 3 ounces)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or lard
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold tap water
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled; or walnut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Heat the oven to 400F.
2. Place all the dried fruit in very large saucepan or even a small pot. Add enough tap water that the fruit can be submerged by 2 inches (the dried apples may float). Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the hot fruit in a colander set in the sink. Stir a few times to help it cool down for 15 minutes.
3. To make the crust, mix the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening and butter or lard with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse, white sand or meal. Add enough water so that the dough comes together when you stir it with a fork. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half to the size of a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer it to the pie plate, making it fit with a little lip overhang; set aside.
4. Chop the cooked, dried fruit on a large cutting board; then scrape it into a big bowl. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, brown sugar, almonds, melted butter or oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt until uniform. Pour this mixture into the crust.
5. Roll out the second half of the dough into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Set it over the pie and crimp the edges tightly. Make several slits in the top of the crust.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Continue baking until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling a bit inside, 30 to 35 more minutes.
8. Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.