I kill plants. I spill things on clothes tagged dry clean only and try as I might to clean my desk it remains in a perpetual state of paper pile chaos. But pie. I get pie. Pie and I are friends. Sweet or savoury, galette inspired or open plan – the possibilities are endless and I love them all, even more so when the weather starts to cool and it seems like the only thing that will suffice is pie. There is a place called Bubby’s in Tribeca, New York that has the kind of apple pie that will change your life. They make their pie mile high by piling the apples up much higher than the pie is deep. While baking, the apples continue to cook down but the crust remains curvaceous, high and buxom. It’s a dream of a thing and the inspiration for today’s hot buttered rum and raisin pie. I’ve use a combination of dried apple and fresh apples, I love the textural combo and it saves feeling like you are peeling apples long into the night.
1 cup raisins
½ cup white rum
¾ cup brown sugar
600g Grannysmith apples peeled, cored and thickly sliced
1 cup dried apple pieces
Generous pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of clove
Pinch of nutmeg
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 x good quality sheet of short crust pastry
1 x good quality sheet of puff pastry (I used careme’s)
Egg wash for baking
Raw sugar for sprinkling on the crust
Grease and line a loose bottomed pie tin.
Place the raisins and rum in a bowl, toss to coat and set aside for the rum to be absorbed (at least 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place a large fry pan over medium heat. Add half the sugar and cook, without stirring, until melts and turns darker amber in colour, tilting the pan to swirl so it doesn’t burn. Add the fresh apples and saute until they are about half-cooked and the juices that are released boil away and reduce until no liquid remains, 8 to 10 minutes. This is important to prevent too much liquid in your pie. Gently stir the apples while cooking so they cook as evenly as possible. They shouldn’t be cooked all the way and have some resistance when you pinch between your fingers. Transfer the apples to a bowl, add the dried apple, spices, vanilla, butter, flour, lemon juice and remaining sugar and stir to combine. Allow to cool completely.
Press the shortcrust pastry into the base of the pie tin and blind bake for 10 minutes or until the base is light golden in colour. Place the apple filling in the pastry lined pie tin, gently piling the fruit higher in the centre – be careful as it will be somewhat higher than the sides. Gently roll over the sheet of puff pastry, press or crimp the edge to the shortcrust pastry firmly to seal then using a paring knife cut a few small slashes in the top to allow steam to escape while cooking. Brush over the egg wash and sprinkle over the raw sugar (about 1 tbsp). Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the pie is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with double cream or ice cream.