Tahoe recipe: Rick Rucker’s best-ever stove-top apple pie | SierraSun.com

Tahoe recipe: Rick Rucker’s best-ever stove-top apple pie

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Bonanza
Rucker's best apple pie ever starts off on your stove top.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

I have not received a recipe form my good friend Rick Rucker in quite some time. In fact, I haven’t heard from him in months.

Could it be he is just busy? After all, he is GM at the Hampton Inn and Suite Truckee-Tahoe, and he is just coming off one jam-packed season and heading into another.

Or could it be he is miffed because I keep bringing my camera to his dinner parties, setting up, getting my shot, and then forcing his guests to eat a cold meal?

This Rucker-less existence has become even more problematic now that we are in the holiday/baking season. This is the man who brought us the date cake, a killer banana loaf, bread pudding — need I go on?

Fortunately, after experiencing his apple pie, I had the recipe laminated and filed right next to his “Heads on Butter and Pepper Shrimp” recipe.

I would never have found it if I hadn’t been theming my Monday night football menu to reflect the competing teams’ heritage and needed a New Orleans’ Saints entree. That evening, my guests were treated to shrimp and pie, and everyone was a winner. Except the Saints.

There are a couple of cool things about this pie, the first being the sprinkling of apple cider vinegar and the second being its stove top preparation pre-baking. Everyone who has ever had this apple pie has thrown out Grandma’s favorite and switched teams.


2 tbls. unsalted butter

2 1/2 pounds of apples (five large Honey crisps will do the trick) peeled and cored, then cut into wedges

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

2/3 cups sugar, plus 1 tbls.

2 tbls. flour

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tbls. apple cider vinegar

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 egg lightly beaten

Pastry for double crust pie.


Whisk together spices, salt and 2/3 cup sugar and set aside. Melt butter in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add apples to the pan, stir to coat. Sprinkle spice/sugar mixture and over apples, lower heat and cook (stirring) for 5 to 7 minutes.

Sprinkle flour and cornstarch over all and continue cooking another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vinegar and lemon juice stir and scrape all into bowl to cool.

Fill pastry lined 9-inch pie pan with fruit mixture; put on and adjust top crust. Seal and flute the edge. Cover edge of pie with foil. Brush top crust with egg wash and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes and then remove foil from crust edge, reduce temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool two hours before serving.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at simonegrandmain@gmail.com.

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