Does the smell of warm apple pie take you back to childhood? Those days that we stood on our toes by the kitchen counter and watched mom slide out the freshly baked golden-crusted pie out of the oven. We couldn’t wait to break into the delicious tops and dive right in. Now that we’re all grown up, what’s a better way to revisit this than by reinventing it into a delight that also elevates our humdrum adult lives? How? With just a few drops of whisky, of course.
Originally inspired from the docents at the James K. Polk House where apples were soaked in whisky before following the general recipe, whisky with apple pie has found numerous epicureans. Its cooking process has but varied across different households.
While you can bake the pie with any whisky you have on your shelf, using one that complements its flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple lifts the pie even more. Aberlour, The Glenlivet, and Seagram’s are some whiskies that tend to suit the pie in a way that sings on your palate, transporting you back to those good old days.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade at fan bake mode. On the table, divide the pie dough and roll out a part for lining the pie pan. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. Then cover and line the pan with foil and fill it with dry beans. Bake the pie crust for 8 minutes, remove the foil with beans, and bake again for another 8 or 10 minutes, until the crust is cooked and still has not changed colour. Let the pie crust cool outside the oven.
To prepare the apple filling, first combine raisins and whisky in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Stir in some butter after you take it off the heat and leave it to cool. Then peel, halve, core and cut the apples into 1 centimetre pieces, and put them in a large bowl with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and corn flour. Toss the apple mixture well. Add in the boiled and cooled whisky and raisins, and toss the entire mixture until the apples are well coated with the whisky and spices.
You can now put the apple filling into the pie crust pan. Make sure to also put in the whisky juices left at the end.
It is now time to again roll pie dough. Place the rolled dough over the apples, either as criss-crossing ribbons or as a sheet with holes. Fit, press, and trim the sides of the pie. To ensure that the pie after is golden in colour after baking, beat egg yolk with cream and sugar, and brush it gently on the pie covering. Bake your pie for a good 40 minutes. Then, take it out, let it rest, and after it cools down enough to eat, dig in. You can garnish your whisky and apple pie with icing sugar, cream, and salted caramel sauce. Serve and enjoy with an ice cream scoop on top or on the side.
When bad weather forced a transatlantic flight to return to Foynes Port, Limerick, in the winter