In this post we’re taking the humble apple pie to the next level, spiking the sticky sauce with bourbon, maple syrup, pecan and raisins. Scroll down to get the recipe!
The humble apple pie
The apple pie has been around for YEARS! With written recipes in England going back as early as the 1300’s!
The apple pie is a much loved pudding with different variations being made across the world. In France they have the tarte tatin, an upside down tart where the apples are caramelised in a sticky syrup before the tart is baked. In Sweden they have äppelkaka (or apple cake), which is a sponge cake baked with fresh apple in it, or they make what we’d recognise as an apple crumble. Dutch apple pies are much more similar to the English version with either a crumble top (known as appelkruimeltaart) or a latticed top (known as appeltaart).
But today we are celebrating what I know as a more traditional English apple pie, with a few flavours pinched from the other side of the pond.
Pimp your pie
In your bog standard English apple pie you’ll find the following: an all-butter shortcrust pastry case, apples, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. The recipe is simple and tastes fab served with ice cream, custard or lashings of double cream. It’s the kind of pie that people up and down the UK will remember as being served at the end of a roast dinner, marking the start of autumn.
But, sometimes you want something extra special. So I’ve spent a little time pimping the humble apple pie and have come up with this epic Apple, Pecan and Bourbon Pie. I’ve taken some inspiration from the flavours you’ll find in American puddings around Thanksgiving because I’ll be serving this pie to both my parents and Jon’s parents when they next come round for lunch.
I think our parents will be giving thanks for my passion for pies as this will be the second pie I’ve treated them to this autumn! The first was my Apple and Cherry Pie which was sent exclusively to my email subscribers! Don’t want to miss out on any more recipes? My sure you’ve signed up too! You can do so here.
To make this pie I started with all the usual ingredients you’d find in a traditional apple pie. Bramley cooking apples are the base of this recipe and with some lemon juice, sugar and corn flour I macerate the apple pieces drawing out all of their juice. Usually I would turn this liquid into a sticky sauce but to go that extra mile I added maple syrup, and bourbon which I’d already used to re-hydrate the raisins. The plump raisins were then added to the sauce along with chopped pecans before pouring over the apples in the pie case.
One thing I didn’t change was the pie crust. My Mum taught me how to make the perfect all-butter shortcrust pastry when I was a girl and it has never let me down. Follow the extra tips and tricks in the recipe and I guarantee you will have a rich, crumbly pastry that will encase your filling well, with no soggy bottom (or top for that matter)! It really is a thing of beauty.
You can decorate your pie in any which way but I love rolling out the scraps into autumnal leaf shapes and writing messages in the top of the pie crust which also work as steam vents! How will you decorate yours?
It may look quite long and involved, but this apple pie recipe is well worth the effort!
- For the pie crust and lid
- 200g butter
- 120ml cold water
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
- For the filling
- 8 cooking apples, peeled and cored then chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 150g of caster sugar
- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 handfuls raisins
- 6 tbsp bourbon
- 1 handful pecans (chopped)
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp of plain flour mixed with 4 tbsp of caster sugar
- For the pie wash
- 50ml milk
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Dice the butter for the pastry and place into a large bowl along with the flour, salt and sugar. Rub the flour and butter together until breadcrumbs have formed.
- Add the water a little at a time and stir until clumps start to form.
- Bring the clumps of dough together using your hands until a large ball of dough has formed.
- Cut the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other, and place into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
- Take the larger ball out of the fridge and place on to a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough until it is large enough to fill a 9 inch pie tin.
- Lightly grease the tin before dusting with a little flour and laying the dough into the tin, making sure it is pushed into any edges and corners. Then place back in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Add the apples, lemon juice, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and mix well. Leave this bowl to one side for at least half an hour to macerate.
- At the same place the raisins in a small bowl or cup and cover with the maple syrup and bourbon to soak.
- Once the half an hour is up, place a sieve over a sauce pan and strain the apple from it's juices for another half an hour.
- Put the apple back into the bowl and leave to one side.
- Strain the raisins and add the maple syrup / bourbon to the apple juices in the sauce pan. Heat on a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to bubble.
- Let the mix boil for 5-8 minutes until it's thickened then place to one side to cool down.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the pie with the mixture of flour and caste sugar then pour over the apple, raisins and chopped pecans followed by the thickened sauce.
- Roll out the second, smaller ball of pastry dough until large enough to cover the top of the pie. Create a whole in the top for steam to escape.
- Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- Immediately before baking, brush with the milk then sprinkle over the sugar before cooking in the centre of the oven at 200C for 1 hour or until the pie top is golden brown and crisp.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Like this pie? Then why not try one of these other sweet pies: