THE YANKEE CHEF: A joyous occasion deserves a sweet, decadent treat

Try New England Apple Rum-Raisin Pie.
Try New England Apple Rum-Raisin Pie. PHOTO BY JIM BAILEY

Reminding you of pecan pie, this recipe is far and above better flavored, joyous to the occasion and did I mention it has chocolate in it as well? One look at the crispy, toasted and decadent topping that literally crackles as you cut it, and it will soon become a favorite this Christmas.

There really isn’t anything one can do about the sweetness of this pie. If it wasn’t for the sweetness, it would simply be inedible. But by substituting apple jelly for the classic corn syrup, generally found in pies such as this, at least we are able to have taste other than sugar. I think you will agree that apple jelly makes this a pie with flavor that supersedes any other nut pie commonly enjoyed during this festive time of year.

New England Apple Rum-Raisin Pie

INGREDIENTS

Single layer, unbaked, prepared pie shell

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¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup apple jelly, whisked smooth

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

¼ cup apple-flavored rum (See Note)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1½ cups walnuts, pecans or any nut you desire, crushed

1 cup chocolate chips

½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Place pie pastry in a 9-10-inch pie pan; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk next 6 ingredients until smooth, well blended and frothy. Stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and raisins.

Pour mixture into shell, place in the oven and bake 50-55 minutes, or until it is no longer jiggly in the center. You will notice a small hole in the top with the liquid filling bubbling through. If you do, when the liquid is no longer bubbling up through, the pie will be done even though the pie itself may still be soft to the touch. Remove to cool completely before serving.

Note: Bacardi makes this fantastic liquor. Other great substitutes would be your favorite spiced rum, apple bourbon or simply apple cider.

The Yankee Chef Jim Bailey is a third-generation chef, food columnist, cookbook author and food historian. Bailey lives in Maine with his wife and four children.