Margaux says…

When I saw the recipe for this pie, I had to make it.  I’ve never had apricots in pie before, and the combination of coconut and apricots was intriguing.  The combo does not disappoint…it’s really delicious!  I love the tartness of the apricots with the sweetness of the crumble.  The pie is pretty easy to make, too; the crumble can be made in a food processor and you don’t have to peel the apricots, so prep time is minimal.  The Martha Stewart version also has shaved toasted coconut piled on top in the center for a lovely decorative touch (which I did not take the time to do).

 

Apricot Pie with Coconut Crumble
from Martha Stewart Living

For The Topping
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut (3 ounces)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
For The Filling
1 3/4 pounds apricots, cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges (6 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Coarse salt
Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make the topping: Whisk together flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pulse coconut in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter and brown sugar, and pulse to combine. Add flour mixture, and pulse until clumps form.

Make the crust: Roll out pie dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate, and trim crust to a 1-inch overhang using kitchen shears. Fold edges under, and press to seal. Crimp as desired. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Make the filling: Stir together apricots, sugars, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour filling into piecrust. Sprinkle with topping, squeezing some of the mixture into medium to large clumps and leaving a 1-inch border.

Bake pie on middle rack, with a foil-lined baking sheet on bottom rack to catch juices, until vigorously bubbling in center and bottom crust is golden, about 1 1/2 hours. (Loosely tent topping with foil after 30 minutes to prevent burning.) Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool for at least 2 hours (preferably longer) before serving.


Margaux says…

This is the ultimate mac n’ cheese recipe for everyone in my family.  Well, at least for me and my siblings…I suppose I shouldn’t speak for everyone, and I know my dad is really fond of his stove top recipe that he has perfected over the years.  But for me, nothing else compares, and I know many of my family members will agree.  It’s the quintessential comfort food, and always reminds me of my childhood when I make it.  Not only that, but it’s easy, cheap, quick, and is a crowd-pleaser no matter who the crowd is!

This macaroni and cheese recipe is a baked version, so it gets all crispy and cheesy on top.  You can serve it as a side dish with a roast or something for a Sunday dinner, or as the main course on a weeknight.  Double the recipe for a crowd and bake in a 9×13″ dish…this recipe serves 4-5 people.  I always serve it with a salad and a vegetable…usually frozen peas!  That makes it really feel like home. I usually use sharp cheddar, but this time I used a mix of colby and monterey jack, and it was really good. Granny always used medium cheddar.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I love this recipe for mac ‘n cheese!  Even though it’s quite familiar to our family, I’ve never known anyone else who makes it this way.  I have experimented with other approaches over the years – primarily substituting a white sauce for the butter/milk before baking – but  I keep coming back to what I grew up with!   Back when I was at home and Granny was my Mom, we had this as a main dish with canned green beans (!).  But when Margaux and her siblings were growing up, Granny/Mom would serve it with meatloaf (plus a salad and vegetable).  For some reason, the marriage of the meatloaf and the mac ‘n cheese is perfect to me.  This makes me think we need to make and post Granny’s meatloaf recipe!

Granny’s Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups macaroni
1 cup (or so) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp salted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have an 8″x8″ glass baking dish ready.
Bring medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Boil macaroni for 5 minutes, drain.
Pour drained macaroni (still hot) into baking dish. Stir butter and salt in until butter is melted completely. Stir in half the cheese. Pour milk over the mixture. Top with rest of cheese (I usually use a little more than a half a cup). Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is starting to brown and is crispy.

Margaux says

This is a recipe from my “3 Aunts and a Mom” cookbook from Aunt Suzy, submitted by Aunt Judy.  It’s a take on the classic French clafoutis, with chocolate added (yum!).  I’ve been itching for cherry season to arrive so that I could make it, and once it finally got here, every time we’ve had cherries in the house a certain little boy eats them all before I can even blink.  This time I had a plan…bribe him with a popsicle while I pitted the cherries.  Well, the minute I got out the dark ruby little treats, the popsicle was forgotten (who wants frozen grape juice when you can eat these sweet, juicy little guys??).  So it took me twice as long to pit the three cups…

I had to give the cherry monster one for every two I pitted.  Note the cherry-juice chin.

Apparently, purists bake their cherry clafoutis with un-pitted cherries, because the pit releases added flavor to the dish.  I just think that dealing with pits when you’re trying to savor a dessert is not worth it…maybe I’ll try it that way sometime just to see.   But it would have made this quick dessert even quicker, that’s for sure!

I love this dessert because it’s not to sweet…it kind of reminds me of cherry crepes, if you were just to pour the crepe batter over the cherries and bake it all together, or even flan, because of the egg and cinnamon flavors.  It also makes a good brunch treat…I’ve had it for breakfast 2 days in a row now.  🙂

Cherry-Chocolate Clafoutis
recipe from my Aunt Judy Major

2 tbsp melted butter
3 cups fresh dark cherries, or 2 cans, well-drained (although I wouldn’t recommend canned)
1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Grease 10″ iron skillet with 1 tbsp butter. Spread cherries and chips in the pan.

Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Place liquids in a blender. Add mixture of dry ingredients and remaining 1 tbsp butter. Blend until smooth.

Pour batter over cherries and chips.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Be sure its a 10″ skillet. The batter will puff up and fill the skillet during baking, though it falls soon after it comes out of the oven. Serve warm with powdered sugar dusted over the top. (I served with vanilla ice cream…it was perfect).