Americans enjoy 186 million pies every year — and that doesn’t even include the homemade ones. Warm, flavorful filling, flaky crust and spicy cinnamon certainly make apple pie a classic. So what could possibly make this iconic treat any better? Yes, you guessed it. Bourbon.
Finding the Best Bourbon
Bourbon’s basic notes of vanilla, caramel and toasted marshmallow make this liquor a delicious addition to desserts like cakes, cookies and pies. In most recipes, bourbon can replace vanilla extract because it tastes quite similar. Here are a few brands that might pair well with the sweet, fruity flavours of apple pie.
- Jim Beam: A lower proof and an approachable flavour profile of honey and butterscotch make Jim Beam a favourite bourbon among many bakers. This brand is easy to find and relatively affordable.
- Knob Creek: This brand is a bit pricier but well worth it when you consider its full-bodied flavour. Knob Creek also offers a smoked maple variety that would add some more sweetness to your baking.
- Old Grand-Dad: Old Grand-Dad is a wise choice for those looking for just a hint of spice. This bourbon is lighter, with subtle notes of vanilla and baking spice.
- Maker’s Mark: Bakers and foodies that prefer a heavier mouthfeel would likely enjoy adding a splash of Maker’s Mark to their pie. This wheated bourbon has a sweeter profile with caramel and butterscotch notes.
Making Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie
The Ultimate Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie Recipe
Now that you have your favourite bourbon in hand, it’s time to bake a pie.
The Best Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie
- Food processor
- Mixing bowl
- 2 cups Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- 15 tbsp Butter cold
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon cold water
- 3-4 Apples sour
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 tbsp Bourbon
- ⅔ cup Sugar Brown
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1½ cup Pecans chopped
- Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds
- Then, cut the butter and add it in, pulsing until the consistency is slightly crumbly.
- Pour in the water and pulse on low until dough forms. You may also complete this process by hand if you don’t have a processor.
- Remove the dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge, allowing it to chill for at least one hour to help it solidify. If you’re making the dough in advance, you can also refrigerate it overnight.
- When you’re ready to make the filling, remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling it out. If it crumbles, sprinkle some cold water over it and work it in gently with your fingers.
- Next, make the filling. Peel and thinly slice the apples using a mandoline or apple slicer. The thinner the slices, the more easily the bourbon coating will stick to them.
- Whisk the milk, bourbon, cornstarch, cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl and pour the mixture over your apples. Gently toss to coat each slice.
- Add pecans if you’d like the pie to have a bit more crunch.
- Roll out half of your dough and place it in the pan to create the bottom crust.
- Pour in the filling and layer on the top pie crust. Use a fork to crimp the edges, and make a few slits in the top to let out steam as it bakes.
- Finally, brush the pie with egg wash and pop it in the oven for one hour at 190 C (or around 375 F).
- When the crust begins to turn golden brown, it’s ready to come out. Allow the pie to cool. Then, slice, serve and enjoy.
More Desserts to Try
Apple pie isn’t the only dessert deserving of booze. Brownies, cookies, cake and even peanut butter cups can benefit from an adult twist. Here are a few other tasty treats to make and bake with all those leftover holiday spirits.
Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream
Apple pie lovers know that a warm slice usually tastes better with ice cream. Pair that freshly baked spiced bourbon pie with a scoop of brown sugar bourbon ice cream. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl — adding as much bourbon as you’d like — to make a custard. Then, process the mixture in an ice cream maker, transfer to an airtight container, cover and freeze.
Brandy Salted Caramel Doughnuts
Foodies that prefer brandy might make these drunken salted caramel doughnuts. These sugary pillows of custard only require 14 ingredients and are incredibly easy to make. A piping bag will help streamline the filling process so everyone can get their hands — and mouths — on these little golden treats sooner rather than later. Bake for 20 minutes, toss in the sugar mixture and serve warm.
Irish Cream Brownies
Keep things simple with Irish cream brownies. All a baker needs is a box of brownie mix, Irish cream, oil, eggs and four other ingredients to make the frosting and chocolate glaze. Bake for 20 minutes and allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the frosting. Serve with ice cream or enjoy alone for a boozy, sweet treat.
Striking the Perfect Balance
When it comes to cooking with alcohol, it is possible to have too much — or too little — of a good thing. Adding booze to food is all about finding the perfect balance between the two.
Work on a curve and taste test as you prep to determine the correct amount. Add what the recipe writer suggests, and then tweak it to suit your taste buds. There’s no hard and fast rule concerning how much to use, so get creative. With practice and dedication, you’ll soon perfect spiced bourbon apple pie — and whatever other drunken desserts your heart desires.