This is one of my grandmother’s recipes that might well have come off of the back of a package of dates. She isn’t here anymore, or I’d ask her (miss you Grandma – think of you often, especially in the kitchen…) When I set out to make it recently I discovered a number of things. First, Trader Joe’s does not sell canned apricots. Second, Whole Foods does not sell canned apricots. The only place I could find them was our local non-chain grocery store. The brand I bought was not organic but it was all natural. The ingredients were apricots, sugar and water. If you happen to “put up” your own canned fruit this recipe would be a perfect way to use your home canned apricots. My Aunt still cans every summer. Her peaches are about as close to heaven as one gets in this life. My older son asked to be given them as a birthday present. He rations each jar and eats one or two pieces of fruit at a time. I hear that my mother has a private stash that she hides somewhere in her house. It wouldn’t surprise me. This pie is so good, I might have to “put up” some apricots this summer so just I can try it with my own apricots inside. I’ll keep you posted.
- 2 cups crushed graham crackers (see explanation below)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons tapioka (quick cook)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 15-oz cans apricots packed in heavy syrup, drained and ½ cup of the syrup reserved
- ½ cup quick cook oats
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup flour
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
My mom crushes her graham crackers by laying them out on a wooden board and pressing down on them with a rolling pin. I put mine in the Cuisinart and process them on “pulse.” My children are partial to the rolling pin method as it necessitates a lot of banging and smashing. The aftermath tends to include graham cracker particles being spread hither and yon but very content boys.
In a medium bowl mix all of the piecrust ingredients together. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9 or 9 ½ inch pie pan. You need to have a firm hand for this task. Press the crumbs HARD against the side of the pie pan. If you don’t press hard the crust will fall apart when it bakes. Don’t be shy. Go for it. Place the piecrust in your preheated oven for five minutes. Remove and cool for five minutes. My older son wants me to just make the crust and serve it with chocolate. It’s not such a bad idea. I’ll get back to you on that…
Cut the apricots in half. Place the apricots and dates in the piecrust. You’ll want to distribute them so that they are evenly spread throughout the pie. In a medium bowl mix together the pie filling ingredients – sugar, tapioka, lemon juice, reserved apricot syrup, lemon rind and cinnamon. Once blended pour over the top of the apricots and dates.
In a separate bowl mix together the pie topping ingredients – oats, sugar, flour and melted butter. Spread over the top of the pie.
Bake for 15 minutes. Place a piece of foil loosely over the top and bake another 25-30 minutes until the pie is golden brown.