A winter pie calls for something dark, heavy in flavor and of course, a splash of booze! I have just the pie for you. It has only a touch of guilt in it while the rest is lots of dried fruits, nuts and apples, Yum!
While you can use a store-bought pie crust or puff pastry as your pie crust, I have provided the recipe for the crust I prefer with this winter fruit pie. Don’t be intimidated at making your own crust, simply toss all the ingredients into a food processor and let the machine do all the work. Pie crusts are easy to patch together, even if it doesn’t roll out into one uniform piece of dough, and rather than suffer twice to roll out a top, I cheat and use the scrapes of pie dough to press small shapes (with a cookie cutter) to cover the top. It actually looks more festive than the old-fashion cover or lattice. Let’s get started!
Pie Crust Ingredients – makes 1 pie with enough for cut-outs
- Butter – 1 stick of cold butter (Salted or unsalted you ask? If you use unsalted then add a pinch of salt to the dough, if you use salted, then don’t add more salt, that simple!)
- Flour – 1 3/4 cups, more if needed and for dusting
- Nuts – 1/4 cup of your favorite nuts, crushed
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Egg – 1
- Juice, Milk or Water – 1 tablespoon, a little extra to brush across top before baking
Crush the nuts first in the processor and then remove. Place the butter, flour and sugar into the processor and whisk together until all have incorporated. Add the nuts and pulse a few times. In a pourable cup, whisk the egg and the liquid together and with machine running, slowly pour the egg mixture in. Let it run a few seconds until the dough comes together into a ball.
*If it still looks dry, then add a few drops at a time (while machine runs) until it comes together. The opposite if it looks to wet to form a ball, add a few pinches of flour at a time until it comes together.
Roll out the crust on a floured surface until it is between 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick. Gather it around the rolling pin and place it in the pie pan. Cut off excess, press neatly into the pan and crimp the edges. Toss the scrapes back into the processor, turn it on and add just a drop or two of the liquid until it comes together into a ball again. Roll that out and make cookie press shapes. Place those on a parchment paper and pop into the fridge until ready to use. Now let’s make the filling!
Pie Filling Ingredients
- Tart Apples – 5, peeled, cored and cut into tiny pieces or shredded in the food processor
- Dried Fruit – 3 cups, any of your liking. (roughly pulsed in food processor) I used dried cranberries and a medley of raisins
- Lemon – juice and some zest from 1 lemon
- Brown sugar – 1/2 cup, more to sprinkle
- Cornstarch – 1/4 cup
- Spices medley – 1/2 teaspoon of each: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice and salt
- Rum – 1/4 cup
Preparation – Preheat oven to 350 and place a parchment paper on a cookie sheet (drips)
In a large bowl combine shredded apples, pulsed dried fruit, sugar, spices and rum and toss well. Sprinkle cornstarch across the top and mix well. Really mix well. Pour filling into prepared crust. Add the presses cut-out dough pieces. Brush a little juice or milk across the cut-outs and sprinkle a little sugar across. Makes the cut-outs really pop, when baked. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until crust is golden and pie is firm to the touch. Cool and enjoy!