Spicy Bean Thread Salad
Oxtails in a Red Wine Sauce

Black Velvet Apricot Blueberry Pie

I've never heard of Black Velvet Apricots until Stan brought some home the other day. 


They look and taste more like plums than apricots, but there is a hint of apricot in them. 

I do know one thing though, they make one heck of a good pie. 


Just remember, I'm not a pie baker so the finished pie won't win any awards; but you'll be missing out if you don't use my pie filling recipe inside your own perfectly prepared pie crust. 


I grilled the apricots then flavored them with freshly ground star anise, nutmeg and lemon.

Throw in a few blueberries and you have heaven on a plate.  


First prepare the apricots.

Actually, I think this recipe would be great with any stone fruit like nectarines, plums etc...


Cut down the sides of the stone then cut each half into thirds or halves, whichever you prefer. 

Then slice off the flesh that's left on the stone. 


Knowing how great grilled fruit is, I thought that grilling the apricots would add another dimension to the pie, I was so right. 


Place the sliced fruit on a grill pan and grill until they take on some grill marks and start to caramelize. 

I grilled both sides of the slices. 

Next time I'll leave the fruit in larger slices, they'll be easier to turn on the grill that way. 



Gather the dry ingredients for the pie filling. 

You'll need ground star anise, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. 



While the fruit is grilling mix up the dry ingredients that will be added to the fruit. 

To some granulated sugar I added brown sugar, flour, freshly ground star anise, freshly ground nutmeg and a pinch of salt. 

Set aside.

Tell yourself to remember to dot the fruit with the butter once it's in the pie shell. 

In a medium bowl, add the grilled fruit. I had some fresh blueberries on hand so I threw in about a cup of them. 



To the fruit add the lemon juice and lemon zest. 

Set aside. 

Tell yourself to remember to dot the fruit with the butter once it's in the pie shell.


Make your favorite pie crust. 


I use Michael Ruhlman's pie crust recipe from his book Ratio. 

Recipe at end of post. 

Roll out the dough then roll it up on the rolling pin, that makes it easier to transfer the dough to the pie plate. 




Gently ease the crust into the pie plate. Using a sharp knife, trim off the excess dough. 




Tuck under the edges of the dough. 

O.K. I'm so stoked. This is the absolute best looking pie crust I've ever made. 

Finally, a crust that doesn't look like I made it in the dark with one hand. 

I'm not a pie maven by any means so this really excites me. 




Mix the sugar flour mixture into the spiced fruit. 

While you are mixing this, tell yourself to remember to dot the fruit with butter once it's in the pie shell. 



Pour into the pie shell. The filling looked a little skimpy so I added more blueberries. 

Forget to dot the fruit with the butter once it's in the pie shell. 


At first I was going to make a two crust pie but decided to play around and try my hand at a lattice top crust. 

I didn't think I could do it so I was just dinking around thinking that I'd eventually give up and top it with another crust. 

That's my excuse for the uneven dough strips, and I'm sticking to it. ;-)



Lay out 6 dough strips vertically on top of the pie, 

then, lift every other strip 3/4ths of the way up off the pie, and lay them over the top edge of the pie. 




Now place another strip of dough horizontally on top of the strips that are left laying on top of the pie. 

Gently replace the strips you lifted off the pie over the top of the horizontal strip. 

Now all the original dough strips are vertical over the top of the pie. 




Lift the dough strips that have the horizontal strip over the top of them toward the top of the pie like you did the first strips. 

Lay another horizontal strip of dough on top of the strips that are left on the pie. 




Replace the strips over the top of the horizontal strips. 

Repeat two more times. 

Now you know why I'm not a technical writer. I'm sure a google will find you expert instructions on how to make a lattice crust. 




I thought for my first attempt and it looked passable and left the lattice as is. 

With a sharp knife trim off the excess dough strips. 




Discover the pats of butter sitting on the counter and dab the top of the fruit with the butter between the strips of dough. grrrrrrr

Brush dough strips with an egg wash and bake. 


Trust me, it tastes way the heck better than it looks. 


Sliced warm the filling is a little runny, it firms up as it cools. 

I love the filling, the star anise is excellent with the fruit. 



Look at that perfectly flaky crust. 

Here's how I got that beautiful crust

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PIe Dough (Pâte Brisée) 3-2-1 pie dough


12 ounces flour

8 ounces butter or lard or shortening; or any combination

2-4 ounces ice water; *see note

3 fingered pinch of salt

Combine the flour and butter in a mixing bowl. Rub the butter between your fingers until you have small beads of fat and plenty of pea size chunks. If you are making a bigger batch this can be done in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, but remember not to paddle too much after you add the water, just enough so that it comes together. Add the ice water gradually and a good pinch of salt and mix together gently, just until combined; if you work the dough too hard it will become though.

Shape the dough into two equal disks and refrigerate for 15 min or until ready to roll.

*note:Quantity of water depends on the fat-whole butter has water in it so you only need a couple of ounces; shortening and lard do not.

Notes:  Michael Ruhlman
** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Here's the wonderful pie filling recipe. 


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Royal Velvet Apricot Blueberry Pie


1 (9-inch) double pie crust

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground star anise

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups apricots  thickly sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 

    zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 egg lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place half of the pie crust into a pie pan. Whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, and star anise in a small bowl. In a medium bowl add apricots and stir in lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add sugar flour mixture to apricots and toss gently to mix. Pour apricots into pie crust. Dot with butter cubes on top of the apricot mixture. Top with remaining pie crust and crimp to seal to the bottom pie crust. Cut slits in the top for vents. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and apricot filling just begins to bubble through the slits.

Notes:  koko

Yield: 8 to 10 serving
Preparation Time:  1:00

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

And that's that