Apple Brandy Mince Pie

apple brandy mince pieWhen apple season hits, there’s no better way to celebrate than by making a pie. This recipe from The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson offers a delicious twist on traditional apple pie. The combination of apples, dried fruit, nuts and brandy makes it an instant holiday classic.

2 disks pie dough (homemade or premade shells)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. apples (about 2 large apples), peeled, cored and diced into 1⁄2-inch cubes
3/4 cup currants
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (combine 1/8 cup ground cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. ground ginger, 1/2 Tbsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 Tbsp, ground cloves, and 1/2 Tbsp. ground allspice; stores for up to 3 months)
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine and evenly distribute the liquids and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Let the mixture cool before pureeing half of it in a food processor or blender. Add the pureed portion back to the chunky mixture and chill completely before filling the pie.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out the dough and place in a pie pan, or pull out pre-made pie shells. Pour filling in pie shell and top with lattice. Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and lower the oven temperature to 350° F. Bake for 30 minutes more, until the crust is a rich golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Serves 8.

Reprinted with permission from The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest’s Celebrated Bakery by Piper Davis with Ellen Jackson, copyright© 2009. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.