Apricot Moons

OK, so "Apricot Moons" is really just a fancy name for pie. My grandmother used to make these and fry them. I'm not brave enough to try that, so I just bake 'em. They're still good, especially the next day for breakfast.

You will need:

Dried apricots. At least a cupful.
2 cups plus a little flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 c shortening
1/3 c cold water
Sugar
Any or all of the following: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cloves, Ginger
A saucepan
A sharp knife
A largish bowl
A pastry cutter or fork
A rolling pin
A cookie sheet

Preheat the oven to 375.

Chop the apricots. Be careful; they get sticky. This is why the knife should be sharp. The last thing you want is to cut yourself and bleed all over your apricots. Do you know how much those things
cost?

Put the apricots in the saucepan and cover with water. No, not the 1/3 cup of cold water - that's for the crust. You'll need way more than 1/3 cup to cover the apricots, and it doesn't matter if the water is cold because you're going to boil them. And boil them. And boil them. Did I mention this part takes at least a half hour?

Bring the water and apricots to a boil, then reduce the heat until they're simmering. That means boiling, but just barely. Tiny bubbles. Add a spoon or two of sugar and a sprinkle of whatever spices you have on hand. Just a sprinkle. Enough to make it smell really good, but not until you lean over the pan and take a sniff. If your neighbor calls and asks you what's cooking, you've overdone it.

You'll have to stir the apricots now and then, and probably add some water at least once, so it's a good thing you've still got the dough to mix, or you'd be really bored hanging out in the kitchen with nothing to do.

Put two cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, and the shortening in a bowl. Cut together with a pastry cutter or fork. Add the water and mix with your hands. Turn onto a floured board (this means dump it on the counter) and roll it out. Don't overwork it, or it will be tough and not flaky. Don't forget to check on the apricots, or you won't have anything to fill the dough.

Cut the dough in circles. Use a cookie cutter for tiny little moons, a fingerbowl or drinking glass (like a highball glass) for medium moons. I once used a small saucepan lid to make big old honkin' moons, but you'll only end up with about four if you do that.

By this time, the apricots should be pretty much mush. That's a good thing. You don't want big chunks of apricot in your moon. Spoon a bit into each circle. Leave room around the edges, or you won't be able to seal them.

Dip your finger in some water and run it around the edge if the circle. Fold the circle in half and use the back of the fork tines to seal the edges. Poke the bulgy part with the fork once or twice to vent. Marvel at the usefullness of the fork.

Place on the cookie sheet and cook until slightly browned. Eat hot with vanilla ice cream or cold all alone. These pack well for lunches.
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