Rum-Raisin Apple Pie

October 22, 2012

I haven’t posted any desserts for a while because I’ve been busy cooking suppers with our weekly supply of veggies, but besides peppers and squash and winter greens, the season of fall also gives us an enormous supply of apples. We’ve celebrated two birthdays this month at work, and birthdays mean dessert! For the first birthday of the month, my coworker requested something that everyone in the department could eat, which due to allergies means no nuts and no chocolate. That restricts my options quite a bit, but it’s actually easier to pick out a recipe when the choices are narrowed down like that! I wanted to make something besides another cake, and this recipe from Gourmet Today caught my eye since apples are so plentiful right now. I made it before a couple of years ago and I remembered it being super tasty… the rum and raisins give it a slightly different flavor than a typical apple pie recipe, but are not overwhelming.

One issue with many apple pies, which doesn’t affect the flavor but does make the final appearance of the cut pie less attractive, is how much the apples sink down once baked – this pie ends up with a lot of empty space between the top crust and the actual filling. I know Cook’s Illustrated has addressed this issue by pre-cooking the apples, so I may have to try their recipe next to see how it compares. Regardless of the empty space, this pie still turned out beautiful and delicious. A fantastic start to the fall food season!

Rum-raisin apple pie

Serves 8



  • 2½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/4  cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 5 – 7  tablespoons ice water


  • 3  tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/3  cup raisins
  • 2/3  cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 6  medium apples (2½ pounds), ranging from sweet to tart
  • 1  tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • About 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1  tablespoon sanding sugar or granulated sugar


  1. Make the crust: Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a food processor (you can also use your fingers or a pastry blender) just until mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-sized) butter lumps. Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse (or gently stir with a fork) until incorporated. Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing (or stirring) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.
  2. 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 and divide into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other. Form each portion into a ball and flatten into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Bring rum and raisins to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.
  4. Put a rack in middle of oven and put a large baking sheet on rack. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Rub together brown sugar, flour, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl with your fingertips until no lumps remain. Peel and core apples and cut into ½-inch-wide wedges. Add to sugar mixture, tossing gently to coat. Add raisins, along with any liquid, and toss until well-combined.
  6. Assemble the pie: Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round (keep remaining piece refrigerated). Fit into 9-inch pie plate. Trim edges, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Refrigerate while you roll out dough for top crust in the same manner into an 11-inch round.
  7. Spoon filling into shell and dot with butter. Brush pastry overhang with some of milk and cover filling with dough round. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively. Lightly brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Cut 3 steam vents in top crust with a small sharp knife.
  8. Bake the pie: Place pie on hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes more. Cool pie to warm or room temperature on a rack before serving, about 1½ hours.


  1. The addition of rum would really make this pie fantastic!

    • I love the flavor it adds! A lot of the time adding rum to desserts really overwhelms the flavor (like my dad’s Christmas rum ball cookies, haha), but with this it still tastes mostly like apple pie and not rum pie. lol :)

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