When Tobias first comes to the Boat House Cafe, Mae makes him a chicken sandwich; later in the summer, she concocts a wine-simmered stew for him from the rabbit he has trapped and shared with her. But it is also Mae’s pies that establish her reputation on the island. As the fishermen say, “She’s not got much to say, but bakes a damn good pie.”
1 rabbit, about 3 pounds, cut into serving pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 small stalk celery, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 small bay leaves
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot. Brown the rabbit pieces and remove to a platter.
Add onion and celery and sauté until softened.
Add garlic and continue sautéing until onion and garlic are golden.
Return rabbit to pot and add tomatoes and wine, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes, until rabbit is cooked through.
Serve with noodles.
(for top and bottom of 9” pie)
1 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ sticks (5 ounces) chilled butter
2 tablespoon chilled shortening (Crisco)
1/3 to ½ cup ice water
Place flour and salt in food processor with regular blade and blend for 1 second. Rapidly cut butter and shortening into ½ -inch bits and drop into machine. Turn on for 3 seconds. Stop. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the ½ cup ice water and turn on the machine. In 2 to 3 seconds the dough should begin to mass on the blade and the pastry is done.
Turn it out onto a work surface and with the heel of your hand, rapidly and roughly smear it out in front of you to make a final blending of butter into the dough.
Form into two disks, flour lightly, wrap in plastic and a plastic bag, and chill for at least 2 hours before using.
5 to 6 cups apples (peeled, cored, and cut into very thin slices)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
Place apples in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, blend sugar, salt, cornstarch, and spices until well mixed.
Gently stir sugar-spice mix into apples, coating them well.
Constructing the Pie
Roll each disk of dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick.
Press one circle in the pie pan and brush the bottom with egg white.
Fill the pie crust with the apples.
Cut the butter into small bits and place around the apples.
Cover the apples with the remaining circle of dough. Pinch together the top and bottom crusts and press together with a fork.
Cut vent holes in the crust with the point of a sharp knife. If you wish, decorate the center of the crust with scraps of dough.
Brush the crust with a beaten egg yolk.
Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 450 º. Reduce the heat to 350 º and bake for an additional 45 minutes.