This is a wonderful, old-fashioned apple pie recipe that features a hint of bourbon for a lot of smooth apple flavor. —Julie | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Test Kitchen Notes
This is a versatile, easy recipe that evokes all of our favorite fall flavors. You can use store-bought or homemade pie crust, whatever is easiest for you, and the filling doesn't require any fancy ingredients or equipment. The filling features a whole bunch of Granny Smith apples (this is definitely the pie to make after a trip to the apple orchard), fresh lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and nutmeg. Feel free to use whatever apples you have on hand, though. The sweet and savory flavors are all tied together with the addition of some bourbon, which really puts this pie over the top.
Just keep in mind the amount of time you'll need for the apples to rest (it'll take 1 to 3 hours), so you can get everything ready ahead of time. Most of this recipe is entirely hands-off, which always makes for a convenient dessert. It'll also take about an hour to bake in the oven, and then ideally, although it may take a lot of willpower with the smell of homemade pie flowing throughout your kitchen, the pie should rest and cool for 2 to 3 hours. It will set and the flavors will come together even more—the wait is well worth it, if you can stand it. But when you think about it, this is helpful planning-wise since you can let it hang on the counter while dinner is being served, then it's all ready to go when dessert rolls around. —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
packed brown sugar
fresh lemon juice
apple pie spice
plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
store-bought or homemade double pie crust
- In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, apple pie spice, nutmeg, sea salt, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, and 2 teaspoons of the bourbon. Add the apples as you chop them and toss well to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 1 to 3 hours.
- Prepare the pie dough at this time. If using store-bought pie crust, bring to room temperature. This helps it to roll out easier without cracking. Place into a 9-inch pie pan.
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Stir the apple mixture to combine, then strain out ½ cup of the juices and transfer to a small saucepan. Add the butter and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until it becomes thick and syrup-like.
- Stir the cornstarch and remaining 2 teaspoons of the bourbon into the apple juice syrup. Add the syrup to the apple mixture and mix well to combine.
- Pour the apples into the prepared pie shell. Cover with the remaining pie shell. Make a few slits in the top crust to help vent while baking. Transfer to the oven and bake, checking at the 20-minute mark and covering with the edges with foil if the crust is browning too quickly, for 45 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the water with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Remove the pie from the oven and brush with the warmed sugar water.
- Return to the oven and continue to bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the pie crust is lightly golden brown.
- Let cool for 2 to 3 hours. The pie is best served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top.