Thursday, October 01, 2009

Apricot Crunch

I was interviewed over the weekend by a lovely cookbook-loving reporter who I was delighted to talk to. Nothing like a kindred spirit to get me to talk and talk and talk! More on that later, but it certainly got me thinking about why I collect vintage cookbooks and why I like to write about them.
Certainly both grandmothers play a part. I seek memories of them, of other people's food stories, anything like that. So I've been thinking a lot this week about both of them. I've been compiling and translating (from good cook notes to something I can follow) my Grandma Curtin's recipes for a while now, and when I saw this recipe when I was browsing (ok, I was procrastinating as my book is due today) I thought of her again. She, like my mother, loved anything apricot.
One of the questions I was asked by the reporter was about which of my cookbooks are my favorites. I narrowed it down to about 10, including Duncan Hines Bake Shop in a Book, a three ring binder of wonderful year-round suggestions, from 1979. It is all cake mix enhancements, which I love.
While this one sounds yummy, that presentation is a bit daunting. You'd have to use the spoon to break up the huge apricot halves without breaking or spilling that dessert dish. I'd probably cut up the apricots.
Apricot Crunch
1 package Duncan Hines Deluxe II White Cake Mix (I'm sure any would do, this is of course a DH cookbook)
1 can (30 oz.) apricot halves, drained
1 cup packed plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts (option)
Dairy sour cream, sweetened whipped cream, or ice cream
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange apricots in the bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Combine dry cake mix, melted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and nuts. Mixture will be crumbly. (I love that word.) Sprinkle over apricots Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with sour cream, whipped cream or ice cream.
Yum. I'm up at 5 but now I'm hungry. Happy October.

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