APPLE RUM WALNUT RAISIN PIE – with spaetzle top crust
Apple, rum, walnut, raisin filling baked in a sweet yellow pea dough infused with rum, topped with a spaetzle-type crust. Not your run of the mill apple pie!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
6-7 lg. red apples, peeled, cut into quarters from top to bottom – core each segment, then thinly slice each segment
1 c. white sugar
1 t. cinnamon (I use a little more than most people might like (2 t.)
1/2 t. malic acid
light sprinkle of pink salt
1/4 c. dark rum
1 T. walnut oil
1/2 c. walnut halves
1/2 c. raisins
Toss sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, malic acid and pink salt in large bowl.
Add rum and toss again to distribute.
Add walnut oil, walnuts and raisins. Toss gently and set aside.
Pastry Dough >
2-1/2 c. self-rising flour
1/4 c. yellow pea flour (to increase protein content and help with binding)
1 c. light brown sugar
1 t. pink Himalayan salt
1/2 c. margarine
1/3 c. shortening
1/4 c. plus 2 T. dark rum
Combine both flours, brown sugar, salt, margarine and shortening in extra-large bowl.
Take 2 forks (large or small) make crisscross movements through ingredients till flour, sugar and fats are evenly dispersed and form equal size crumbs. Make sure the crumbs are equal in size, since once you add the liquid you won’t be able to handle the dough much.
Add 1/4 cup of the dark rum, again crisscrossing with forks to incorporate – no spoon needed.
I needed a little more moisture to get the dough to form a ball, so I added 2 more Tablespoons, one at a time, crisscrossing the dough with forks till the dough formed a ball.
Liberally flour a large clean surface on the counter top, then lift dough ball onto center of it. Knead it just a little bit till smooth, then cut dough in half and set one half aside for topping.
Take the dough on counter and form it into a round, flat disk pushing up and smoothing edges till disk is about 1 inch high. Flatten a little more, evenly, then lift and place in center of 9 inch pie plate. If it breaks as you lift it, then return to counter and reshape into a tighter disk so it doesn’t break when you lift it. I tried a rolling pin and it didn’t work. Just disk-it, and place in pie plate.
Now push and smooth dough onto pie plate from center out, evenly, to the top of the pie plate. It takes a little while, so take your time – you’re molding a masterpiece, a once in a lifetime project. When it tears, because you’re being too rough or overly cautious, mend the break by pushing and smoothing – like you’re working a ball of soft clay. Make it evenly thick throughout and smooth. Set aside.
Place apple raisin walnut mixture into pie crust in pie plate. Even out the ingredients as much as possible, while keeping them inside the plate – no willy-nilly dump it and run type of placement. Think masterpiece!
Now we spaetzle the top crust >
You need a hand-grater/shredder for this. Take the second half of the dough that was formed into a ball and cut off a piece that’s large enough to rub over the largest holes of the grater.
Push dough firmly over the holes as you slowly swipe the grater with the dough under the palm and ball of your hand, while little spaetzel-like pieces fall from the underside of the grater.
Repeat with the rest of the dough. The dough doesn’t have to maintain its shape as you push it through the holes. All you need is for it to get through to the other side. You’ll have a bunch of little droppings on the counter. Handle them carefully and lightly. You don’t want them to mush up as you transfer them.
Now lightly lift and place as evenly as possible over the entire top of the pie, handling them as little as possible. Do not pat or squeeze or otherwise mat the spaetzle.
Bake the pie >
Place in preheated 400 degree oven.
Lay a square of aluminum foil flatly over the top, covering the pie without crimping the foil.
Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, reduce heat to 350 and bake 20 minutes longer or till the spaetzel crust browns nicely and liquid bubbles up from edges. Watch closely towards the end, since the crumble crust can burn quickly.
Remove from oven and cool on rack. If desired sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Notes: Although technically this is a pie, it doesn’t act like a pie. It doesn’t texture like a pie. It doesn’t flavor like a pie. It’s a new kind of pie. And I love it. Steve too – couldn’t get enough.
Keep a watch on your oven, since everybody’s is a little different and your pie could bake up quicker or slower than mine.
We go 400 degrees for the first half of baking time, since we have a bottom crust and want to be sure it browns nicely. Then we reduce the heat for the second part of baking.