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Rum Raisin Apple Pie

in Diana's Recipe Book

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Servings: 8
Raisins steeped in dark rum mingle with tart and sweet apples in this updated version of an American favorite. It's a show stopper when paired with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

3 tablespoons dark rum
1/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 medium apples, ranging from sweet to tart (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon (1/2 oz./14g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon sanding sugar or coarse white sugar

Pastry Dough for a Double-Crust Pie* (see recipe below)

Bring rum with raisins to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position with a large heavy baking sheet on rack and preheat oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.

Rub together brown sugar, flour, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with your fingers in a large bowl until no lumps remain. Peel and core apples, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges and add to sugar mixture, tossing gently to coat. Add raisins with any liquid and toss until combined.

Roll out larger piece of dough into a 13-inch round (keep remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity) and trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out top crust.

Roll out smaller piece of dough on a lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round.

Spoon filling evenly into shell, then dot top with butter. Brush pastry overhang with some of milk, then cover pie with pastry round. Trim pastry flush with edge of pie plate using kitchen shears, then press edges together and crimp decoratively.

Lightly brush top of pie with some of remaining milk and sprinkle all over with sanding sugar or coarse white sugar. Cut 3 steam vents in top crust with a small sharp knife.

Bake pie on hot baking sheet 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes more. Cool pie on a rack to warm or room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.

1. To achieve an ideal balance of tart and sweet apples, we used 2 Golden Delicious or Gala apples, 2 Winesap or Granny Smith apples, and 2 McIntosh or Northern Spy apples (you'll need 6 apples total).

2. Raisins can be soaked in rum 1 day ahead, cooled completely, and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

3. Pie can be made 8 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings.

Pastry Dough for a Double-Crust Pie

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/6 oz./170g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 to 9 tablespoons ice water

Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper

Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. Gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.

Turn dough out onto a work surface. Divide dough into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together with pastry scraper. Divide dough with one half slightly larger, then form each into a ball and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Dough can be chilled up to 2 days ahead.

Source: Gourmet, November 2006
Date: June 16, 2007

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