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Dutch? French? This pie is all American

Apricot pie is a taste of summer. Bake the pie the night before and allow it to cool. When sliced, the pie holds together better. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Recipe: Crumb-topped pie works with apricots, nectarines or other stone fruit

Apricot crumble pie
The streusel top contrasts with the summer fruit underneath.

Is it Dutch? Is it French?

It's neither; it's just delicious.

Apple pie with crumbly streusel topping is known as Dutch apple pie or French apple pie, although the origins of those recipes are purely American. The Dutch version often includes chopped walnuts in the crumb topping; the French sticks to brown sugar, flour and butter.

That same streusel method works wonders with tart summer fruit such as apricots or nectarines. (Peaches and cherries, too!) The sweet crumbles contrast beautifully with the flavorful fruit filling.

I've been making this recipe (adapted from several sources) for years. The brown sugar crumbs are my favorite way to top almost any fruit pie.

Note: This recipe can be used with other stone fruits. Peel nectarines or peaches, but apricots and cherries can leave their skins on.

Apricot pie filling
Gently stir the sliced fruit with lemon juice.
Apricot crumble pie

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, 8 servings

1 (single) pie crust for 9-inch pie

5 cups apricots, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter


Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Prepare pastry in 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.

Gently stir together sliced apricots and lemon juice. Combine sugar, 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon; mix with apricots.

Make crumb topping: In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour and brown sugar. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until crumbly.

Turn apricot filling into pastry-lined pie plate. Top with crumbles, covering fruit to the edges of the pastry.

Place pie in center of oven, on top of a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spill over. Bake in 425-degree oven for 50 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Cover topping with aluminum foil the last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream (optional).
Pie with a slice out of it
The crumbly sweet topping seals in the filling.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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