Do you ever get tired of mincemeat pies at holiday time? Well here is an alternative that gives the feeling of holiday without having to make or buy mincemeat.
Roll out two-thirds sweet pastry (see recipe below or use store-bought pastry) about 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Line an 11-inch pie plate with the pastry, trim off the excess dough, prick the bottom of the shell with a fork and chill at least 30 minutes.
Place the dried fruit in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drain the fruit in a colander and chop it coarsely. In a bowl combine the fruit with the sugar, almonds and melted butter.
Roll out the remaining one-third of the pastry and brush the dough lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. With a saw-toothed pastry wheel, cut 12 strips from the dough. Fill the shell with the fruit mixture, mounding it in the center, moisten the edge of the shell with the beaten egg, and arrange the strips in lattice fashion over the fruit, pressing the ends onto the edge of the shell. Make a decorative border on the rim of the pie. Bake the pie on the bottom third of a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake the pie for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until the pastry is browned.
Remove from the oven and brush the fruit with melted apricot glaze. Serve the pie with sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla or brandy to taste.
In a large bowl, put the flour, sugar, butter and salt. Using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, work the butter and flour until it has the texture of oatmeal. Make a well in the center of this mixture, and pour in the egg yolk, beaten with the water. Mix with a fork, then use your hands to press the dough into a ball. Knead the dough for a few seconds to distribute the fat evenly, then re-form into a ball. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. It will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, or several weeks in the freezer.
When ready to use, put on a board that is lightly floured and roll out to slightly larger than the size desired. Roll back onto a rolling pin, slide over pan, push down in corners, cut off excess dough, crimp edges, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes 3/4 lb.