Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie

I know I already mentioned this in the last post, but Merry Christmas! I hope you had a sweet ol' time with your family and/or friends. I hope you over-ate and then did not feel a smidgen of guilt cause it's Christmas!! It's the one time you get to overeat (well, maybe Thanksgiving... and your birthday... and when you're sad). I hope your holidays were filled with pie and chocolate and ice cream and cookies. Cause really, deep down, that's what Christmas is all about.

Just kidding. I think.

I always find that the week after Christmas is the most depressing week in the whole year. You have to look at your tree and decorations and think about when you'll put them away. You think about going back to work or school and you sigh. You think about the day when your leftovers will run out. 

If you've got the post-Christmas blues, this pie is the cure. If you have any blues, this pie is the cure. If you don't have any blues at all, this pie is for you. This pie is for anyone.

It has got to be the best darn apple pie I have ever eaten in my life - and I'm not just saying that 'cause I made it. Seriously, it's a bit of a day job to make this thing from start to finish but you can taste the love and the effort and the time. It's a labour of love. And it's delicious.

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie
Recipe from Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

Pie Crust
2 2/3 cup (350 g) pastry flour
2/3 cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, freezer cold, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup (60 g) vegetable shortening, freezer cold, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup (114 g) water, ice cold
2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

6 to 8 apples, such as Gravenstein (about 1.7 kg)
1/3 cup (70 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (40 g) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (58 g) dark rum
4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

To finish
Heavy cream
Granulated sugar
Starch water (1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1/2 cup water)

For the pie crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in an electric mixer. Add the cold butter and shortening and mix on low speed until the mixture look shaggy and the pieces of butter are slightly smaller than peas. Stop the mixer and check the size of the butter, sifting through the mixture with your hands. If you find bigger chunks, smear them between your fingers.

Put the ice-cold water and vinegar into a measuring cup and stir to combine. Add the water-vinegar  to the flour-fat mixture on low speed and mix briefly with a few rotations of the paddle, but do not let the dough come together.

Turn off the mixture and scrape the sides and bottom of the mixer to make sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients. Squeeze a small amount of dough in your hand. The dough should come together in a clump. If it’s too dry, add a little more water a few teaspoons at a time. 

Remove the dough from the mixer, shape into a flat circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Unwrap the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in two equal pieces and put one half back into the fridge. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8th inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie tin and gently press the dough into the sides of the pan. Trim the excess dough to a 3/4th to 1 inch overhang. Fold the overhand up and over towards the inside of the pan and use your hands to gently press on the dough all around the circumference to form a neat pastry rim about 1/2 inch thick. Create your desired border. Use the trimmed dough to create pastry leaves or whatever decoration you wish. Roll out the second half of the dough in the same way as before and trim to create a 9-inch circle.

Chill the dough.

For the filling, peel and core the apples and slice them 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. You should have about 8 cups of apple slices.

Place two large sauté pans over medium-high het and divide the 1/3 cup (70g) of granulated sugar between them. Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it melts and then caramelizes and turns amber in colour, tilting the pan a little to swirl and distribute the colour, adjusting the heat as needed. 

Add the apples, dividing them between the two pans, 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. Toss and stir the apples regularly while they are cooked so they cook evenly on both sides. When the apples are done, they should give but not fall apart when you press one between your fingers.

Transfer the apples to a bowl and allow them to cool completely to room temperature.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F.

When the apples are cooled, add the brown sugar, rum, butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, spices, and salt and toss to combine.

Put the apple filling in the pastry-lined pie plate. Place the pastry circle on top, roll the overhang up and over, and seal with starch water. Press or crimp the edge, then use a paring knife to cut a few vents inn the top. If using pastry decorations, attach them to the top of the pie with starch water. Brush the pie and decorations with heavy cream and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips, place in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Tent the pie with aluminum foil and continue to bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes or until the pie is evenly golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack before slicing. The pie will still be warm, or you can cool it to room temperature, then slice and serve.

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