- Date: Saturday, July 19, 2008 -- 9pm
- Location: Hartsville, SC
- Kitchen: My Parents' Apartment
- Dining Companions: Matty, Teri, and Terry
- Recipe Rating: A-
I have been seriously craving pie this summer, and lucky for me The Book is chock full of delicious pie recipes! I made this pie a few weeks ago while visiting my parents in rural South Carolina. My mom and dad drive nearly 2 hours most weekends to go grocery shopping (the shopping situation in Hartsville -- population 8,000 -- is a little dire). There is a market they like a lot in Columbia, which has lovely produce and a good butcher. So there I was, grocery list in hand, ready to shop at the market. I was looking for apricots. Peaches, nectarines, plums, kiwi, cherries... all there and all looking beautiful. But no apricots. Mysterious though, since the sign below the plums said "Apricots." Look down: "Apricots." Look up: plums. Look down: "Apricots." Look up: plums. Repeat. I stood there dumbfounded for a minute or two before I decided to inspect these plums labeled apricots more closely. I picked one up. Looked like a plum. Felt like a plum. Smelled more or less like a plum. But lo and behold, it had a teeny tiny label on it, which read "Black Velvet Apricot." They were the only apricots to be found, so I got them. As I was filling up a bag of them, Matty walked up behind me: "Mmmm... plums." I tried to explain that they were apparently apricots. He seemed unconvinced.
It wasn't until after the pie was assembled, baked, and eaten that I did a little research on these Black Velvet "Apricots" of mine. It turns out that they are actually a plum-apricot hybrid. I didn't know there were other common plum-apricot hybirds other than pluots. But while pluots are 1/4 apricot and 3/4 plum, the Black Velvet Apricot is a type of aprium (which are 3/4 apricot and 1/4 plum). You learn something new every day.
So perhaps I should really call my rendition of this recipe an "Apricot-Apricot-Apricot-Plum Raspberry Pie." All the apricot drama aside though, the real question is, "How did it taste?" Well, my mother declared this the best pie she has ever eaten. When I called her out on the hyperbole, she insisted that it really was the best pie she has ever eaten. So that pretty much sums it up. It was good. Very good. I wouldn't say it is the best pie I have ever eaten, but I enjoyed it a lot. The apricot and raspberry (and apparently plum) flavors blended extremely well together. The filling was indeed delicious. It has just the right tang -- flavorful and sweet without being cloying. My one complaint was that the filling was quite liquidy, which resulted in a pretty soggy bottom crust and some very messy pie servings. It wasn't a serious issue -- it was still delicious. But if the filling had been a touch thicker it would have been an improvement. I'm sure this recipe is good with 100% apricots as well, but if you can get your hands on some Black Velvet Apricots, I highly recommend them in this pie!
Here is the recipe.