Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie Recipe

This pie is a project, but it’s a very special pie recipe. It might even be The Best Apple Pie recipe. Wait, no, it IS the best apple pie we’ve ever tasted! Use a sweet-tart, firm apple for this pie, such as Gravenstein, Braeburn, Cameo, Granny Smith, or Pink Lady. Start out by sautéing sliced apples in caramelized sugar. When you cut a slice of the finished pie, you’ll find the apples are soft in texture but still hold their shape; the pie juices are deliciously flavored with rum, butter, vanilla, and spice; and everything is encased in a pastry that is both flaky and tender.–Tom Douglas

LC Why We Love Chef Tom Douglas Note

Chef Tom Douglas, whom some of us here at Leite’s have swooned to for more than a decade, is his usual amiable self in this cookbook—his fourth, by our count. In it he not only shares some of the most magnificent recipes from his Seattle bakery, but he magnanimously offers tips and tricks to ensure the home cook’s results for this apple pie recipe are every bit as memorable as his own. Not only that, he wants to help home cooks organize their time. Here’s what he has to say about this pie:

A bit of pectin sets the apple pie juices perfectly, but if you don’t have pectin you can add a little more cornstarch instead.

After sautéing the apples, allow time for the apples to cool before filling and baking the pie. This is a good time to roll out your dough.

After assembling the pie, it takes about 2 hours to bake, which is a long time, but the slow baking ensures a deliciously crumbly, flaky crust.

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 4 H, 25 M
  • Makes one 9-inch pie


  • 6 to 8 (about 3 3/4 pounds) apples, such as Gravenstein, Braeburn, Cameo, Granny Smith, or Pink Lady
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/8 ounces) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) dark rum
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dry pectin, or an extra 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Flaky Pie Crust, for a double-crust 9-inch pie
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  • 1. Peel and core the apples and slice them 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. You should have about 8 cups apple slices.
  • 2. Place 2 large (at least 10-inch) sauté pans over medium-high heat and divide 1/3 cup granulated sugar evenly between them. Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it melts and then caramelizes and turns amber in color, tilting the pans a little to swirl and distribute the color, adjusting the heat as needed. (As soon as the sugar melts, it will quickly start caramelizing, so be ready with the apples as soon as the color of the sugar turns amber.)
  • 3. Add the apples, dividing them between the 2 pans, and sauté until they are about half-cooked and the juices that are released boil away and reduce until no liquid remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss and stir the apples regularly while they are cooking so they cook evenly on both sides. When the apples are done, they should have some give but should not fall apart when you press one between your fingers. Transfer the apples to a bowl and allow them to cool completely to room temperature.
  • 4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • 5. When the apples are cool, add the brown sugar, rum, butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, pectin or extra cornstarch, spices, and salt and toss to combine.
  • 6. Dump the apple filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Place the remaining pastry circle on top, roll the crust overhang up and over, and seal. Press or crimp the edge, then use a paring knife to cut a few vents in the top crust. Brush the top of the pie crust with the cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • 7. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 30 minutes. Tent the pie with foil and continue to bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the pie is evenly golden brown. (The total baking time should be 2 hours.) Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. The pie will still be warm after an hour. Or if you can wait, you can cool it to room temperature and then slice and serve it.
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