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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 June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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