1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup Warm water
1/2 Cup Butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups dried apricots
1 1/2 cups water
powdered sugar for garnish
Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a large bowl; let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes). Add butter, salt, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1 cup of the flour; beat with a heavy spoon until dough is stretchy. Add 3/4 cup more flour; stir until well blended.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (8 to 10) minutes adding just enough additional flour to prevent sticking. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled ( 1 to 1 1/4 hours). Meanwhile, combine apricots, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the 1 1/2 cups water in a 3 to 4 quart pan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apricots are tender when pierced (5 to 10 minutes). With a slotted spoon, transfer apricots to a bowl and let cool. Boil syrup, uncovered, over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 5 minutes), watching closely to prevent scorching; set aside.
Punch dough down and knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air. Pat into a 8-inch round. Press dough evenly over bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of a well-buttered 10 to 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Arrange apricots, slightly overlapping on dough. Pour syrup over fruit. Gently press edge of dough down flush with fruit.
Bake on lowest rack of a 375 deg F oven until crust is evenly browned (about 40 minutes), if crust browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Transfer to a rack and let cool. With a knife, loosen pie from pan sides; remove rim. Just before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar over top of pie.
Vlaai are thin, flat pieces made of bread dough filled with fruit. A specialty of the Limburg region in the southern part of the Netherlands, this creation is a cross between a pie and a coffeecake.
Friday, December 10, 2010 - 1:02am