The main ingredient in apricot pie is the apricot. This fruit is a relative of the plum and is native to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Apricots are found throughout much of the world because they have been cultivated for thousands of years and were brought to a number of places, including the Americas, by settlers from Europe. The popularity of apricots has led to the development of many variations of apricot pie. This dessert is encased in a crust and baked in an oven.
The flesh and skin of the apricot can both be used in an apricot pie, or the skin can be removed to give the pie a creamier consistency. Apricots should be thinly sliced before they are added to the pie filling. Sugar is usually added to the apricots to make them sweeter, and other spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon can be used as well. The juice released by the apricots as they cook can give the pie a liquid consistency, so thickeners like tapioca or gelatin may be added to make the pie firmer.
Just as there are many different recipes for the filling portion of an apricot pie, there are also many options when making a pie crust. Traditional crusts often use flour and shortening and need to be baked for a short time before the pie is assembled and baked with the filling. Simple graham cracker or cookie crumble crusts that use broken cookies and butter can also be used for an apricot pie crust.
The pie is assembled by pouring the apricot filling into the pie crust. Some pies are covered with an additional layer of crust or with a lattice of rolled and sliced pieces of crust dough. These pieces are not usually pre-baked because they will cook thoroughly on top of the filling. An apricot pie needs to be baked in an oven until it is cooked all the way through.
Apricot pie is a popular dish in many places around the world. In Europe, pies are made with a cover of crust on top and have been part of European cooking for at least a few hundred years. Apricot pies that follow American recipes will often be open-faced. These are made in Europe as well, though they are generally referred to as tarts.