Warm, sweet and comforting sunshine is in every bite of these fried Apricot Hand Pies, featuring Bella Viva Orchards’ Dried Apricots. Break out a mug of your favorite hot beverage, breathe in the aromas of summertime and dive in to these easy-to-make treats! Great for breakfast, tea time or dessert, this recipe is easy to double when you want to share them with friends and family.
8 ounces (about 2 cups) Bella Viva Orchards Dried Apricots(see note) ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup water 1 teaspoon pure almond extract ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed 1 large egg, beaten ½ cup whole milk, buttermilk or heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar
1 quart neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable)
Pastry blender or two knives 6-7” round biscuit cutter Deep-fryer or heavy pot Deep-frying thermometer Slotted spoon or wire “spider”
Make the filling: Cut the Dried Apricots into ¼-inch strips. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine apricots, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Remove lid and stir in almond extract, vanilla extract and softened butter. Let cool to room temperature. As the mixture cools, it will thicken up.
Make pie crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in cold cubed butter with a pastry blender or two knives until butter is in very small pieces and well distributed. Combine egg and milk and add to flour mixture, blending until a soft dough forms.
Topping (optional): Place sugar mixture in a shaker or small bowl and set aside.
Assemble: On a floured surface, roll dough out thinly. Using cutter, make four circles.
Place about ¼ cup Dried Apricot mixture in the center of each circle, being careful to keep filling away from pastry edges. Distribute any remaining fruit mixture evenly among pies. With your fingertips, wet the outer edges of the dough with a little milk or water. Fold in half and seal the edges with the tines of a fork.
In a deep fryer or heavy pot heat oil to about 370 degrees F. Gently lower pies into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove with wire “spider” or slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle sugar topping evenly over hot pies, if using.
Let ‘em cool a bit and then prepare your taste buds for glory! Enjoy them just as they are or dress ‘em up with vanilla ice cream, frozen vanilla yogurt or whipped cream!