Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Buttered Bourbon Apple Pie

 A Tale of Fall: 
      Last week, my boyfriend and I were sitting on swings at Sloan's Lake, a favorite spot of mine in the Denver area, when he explained what he thought of fall colors. He said it was like the final ball before winter. The trees know the end of their season is coming, so they all adorn their most beautiful attire and nature is in one big celebration. I like that a lot. I am through and through an autumn person when it comes down to it and I particularly love October.
     The excitement of the holidays is on the horizon, but its still low key. I love fall festivals, pumpkins on people's porches, and little kids planning their costumes. I love the first warm soup of the season, getting to wear the new sweater my sister knitted me for graduation, and most particularly, I love the way the world looks.
       So the other day, I decided it was time for a fall photo tour of my neighborhood. I really enjoy getting to walk around and observe nature. Taking it in on a conscious level is a practice in my daily life that brings me peace. However, some days I find trying to see and focus on it in unusual ways is equally important. I like to focus on the individual aspects and colors while working to absorb the uniqueness of nature. In fall, the practice of appreciation of the outdoors becomes extra special for me. So right now, these are some sights I am grateful for.
      I am also grateful for some things back indoors right now too though. One of which is the increased amount of pie I get to justify making (and by making, really I mean eating). Let's all be honest, a buttery, flakey crust surrounding anything makes it taste better. However, it tastes especially better when it surrounds tart, buttery, bourbon cooked apples. This pie guys is a perfect compliment of buttery crust, buttery insides and tart delicious apples. The crust is flakey and golden, not to hard to work with and beautiful. You can see the layers when you look at the pie pieces on top as you pull it out of the oven. Believe me, your eyes and nose will quickly remind you that you just got really hungry. The butter flavor is warm and smile inducing. The filling is tart and oh so perfectly apple happy. The light flavor of bourbon comes through to add a gentle dark caramelized, woody flavor to the apples. The spices enhance the flavors, but are gentle enough again that they really only make the apples shine that much more rather than steal the show. This ladies and gentlemen, is a true buttery apple pie, ready to highlight the season's most beloved fruit. It is time to celebrate with the trees in the final ball by using the bounty they give us in the most delicious way. 
Apple Filling: 
1 double pie crust*
    I made a double batch King Arthur's Favorite Pie Crust
    HIGHLY Recommended-so flakey and easy to work with. 
8 small granny smith apples, pealed, cut and thinly sliced (6 large)
4 TBSP all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 TSP nutmeg
1 TSP cinnamon
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1/3 C sugar
2 TBSP heavy cream+1 TBSP (for brushing the crust)
3-4 TBSP bourbon 
1 TSP vanilla extract
1/4 TSP salt

1. In a medium bowl, combined prepared apples, 2 TBSP flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir until all the flour is dissolved. 
--My apples were from a friend who had already prepared them for apple pie and frozen them. Therefore when I defrosted them, they already had a significant amount of moisture to work the flour in. If needed, add one less TBSP of bourbon directly into the pan and add it to the apples first.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter, and then add the sugar. Stir around and let cook for 2-3 minutes until sugar. Then add the heavy cream, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Stir together and let the mixture continue to cook.
3. Once the mixture has translucent bubbles, and has thickened, pour the liquid over apples in the mixing bowl and stir to coat. 
4. Next pour the apple and mixture all back into the pan and add 2 TBSP of flour. Mix together to thicken, and then bring the mixture to a gentle simmer to allow the liquid to reduce. 
5. Once very little liquid is left, the mixture is thickened, pour it all back into the large mixing bowl and allow it to cool completely.
6. When the apple mixture is cooled and your pie crust is made and rested, you are ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 400F and place the rack on a middle shelf.
7. Roll out the base dough of the crust and invert it into a greased pie dish. Place the filled pan in the fridge and get out the second half of dough. 
8. Roll out the second half in the same fashion, then using a cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as you can from the dough.
9. Working quickly, remove the base from the fridge and fill it with the cooled apple mixture.  
10. Lay the dough cut outs around the edge of the pie and work in circles moving inward until the top is covered. It is good to have small gaps as these allow the steam to vent through the crust. 
11. Brush the crush with a light coating of heavy cream. 
12.  Place the pie into the oven and cook at 400F for 20 minutes. When that is done, do not open the oven, simply lower the temperature to 375 F and continue baking for 55-65 minutes, until the top has lightly browned and the insides are bubbling up between the cracks. 
13. Remove from the oven, allowing the pie to cool for 3 hours. This will give the filling time to finish setting and ensure the inside does not run when you cut into the pie. 
14. Reheat if desired, top with whipped cream or ice cream, and dig in to the flaky, apple filled, butter-laden goodness you have created!


  1. Great blog! Every recipe an inspiration, every thought shared by Maisie a pleasure. Just delightful. Nice pictures too!

    1. Thanks Peggy! That was so kind it made me blush. I appreciate you following along and the sweet words.