Apples stewed slowly in cinnamon, butter, salt and sugar make for a sweet pie filling
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Let the moonshine in: On Day 50, Dan gets pie-eyed


Moonshine Apple Pie


Leftover alcohol; now there’s a concept I have trouble embracing.

But we were gifted some hooch by my sister Carol at Christmas — two bottles of an Apple Pie Moonshine from the Ole Smoky distillery in Gatlinburg, Tenn. It’s essentially a corporate homebrew that’s way too sweet to drink straight up. It sat on the booze shelf in our kitchen for a couple of months, along with some errant blue raspberry stuff, half a bottle of bourbon, a rumour of gin and a dribble of vodka.

If the shine was ever coming out of the shadows, it needed a higher purpose. Which is to say it had to star in its own Kitchen Castoffs recipe. Given the elevated sugar content, I could think of no better idea than incorporating this southern liquid in a recipe that satisfies my rather considerable sweet tooth.

So what to make? Well, the little bottles have apple pie written right there on the label, so why fight it? I mean, first of all, it’s pie. Who doesn’t love pie? Nobody doesn’t love pie. Which means everybody loves pie. I, for one, love pie.

And, I think it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it, that we need apple pie now more than ever.

So I scoured the internet for a recipe, got some basic ideas about ingredients, and decided to combine a bunch of them.

Easy as pie.

Kitchen Castoff used

Apple Pie Moonshine

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine: too sweet to drink but perfect for pie
Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine: too sweet to drink but perfect for pie

This is how we did it

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 50 ml Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine

For the filling:

  • 3 large apples (I used Gala)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 50 ml Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine

Method

Make the crust first, since it has to be refrigerated. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, then add the butter in bits and pieces. Then pulse in the canola oil and finally the moonshine. Keep pulsing until the dough forms a ball. If you need more liquid, put in a tsp or less of cold water.

Once the ball is formed, remove it from the food processor, wrap it in plastic and place in the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 30 minutes.

That gives you time to peel, core and slice the apples and place them in a bowl of water with a splash or two of lemon juice so they don’t go brown.

It also gives you time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Then, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, salt, cinnamon and sugar, then add the apple slices and let stew until the apples become soft, but aren’t quite falling apart.

Add the moonshine and cook for another 10 minutes to get rid of the boozy smell.

Finally, dilute the corn starch in 2 tbsp of water and stir into the mixture. Once it thickens up a bit, take it off the heat and let it cool.

It’s now time to take the dough out of the refrigerator and place it in the middle of a floured cutting board. Roll it out with a rolling-pin until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.

I decided to make my little pies in ramekins, so I needed a small bottom crust for each. I used a small glass bowl to cut out the pie bottoms and placed them in each of the ramekens. I rolled the rest of the dough back into another ball, wrapped it with plastic and put it back in the refrigerator.

With a sharp knife, poke several holes in each of the bottom crusts. Bake off for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Spoon the filling into each of the ramekins, leaving a little space at the top for the crust.

Once the remaining dough has cooled down in the refrigerator, place it back on the floured cutting board and roll it out again to the thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut four top crusts with the glass bowl. Place those on top of the filling. Bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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