Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big Vanilla Bourbon Apple Pie

 Last week I realized I hadn't made a classic double crust apple pie in over two years!  Kind of crazy...I guess I am more of a crumble top pie kind of a girl, or I am too lazy and just go for a crisp, but once in a while you just have to make the classic double crust. 

I decided last Friday that it was about time, but honestly I had forgotten how.  I knew the basics of the crust and filling, but how long to bake for?  Luckilly my friend Gabrielle at work is a pie expert so I asked her for a few pointers.  I knew I wanted to make a huge deep dish apple pie fit for a queen! 

I am not going to lie...I didn't actually have a recipe I was following, just my classic single whole wheat vanilla crust recipe I always use which is burned into my brain.  I just doubled it and voila!  For the filling I used my Mom's favorite pie apples, Haralson and tossed them with just enough maple sugar to sweeten, and of course a generous amount of cinnamon. I also decided to add plenty of vanilla flavor from both a bean and the extract, and lets not forget...the bourbon!

Once it was all assembled it wasn't the prettiest I will admit, since I had forgotten how to properly transfer a crust to the pie and not damage it, but I knew it would be delicious anyhow once it was baked.  Ugly pies are just learning experiences as far as I am concerned, and it doesn't matter as long as they are delicious! 

It's aroma was wonderful as it baked.  The essence of fall's sweet apples and cinnamon whafting through my home was enough to make me happy.  I had to wait until the next day to enjoy it though, which was tough.  It was for good reason though, it was meant to be shared...afterall, that is what deep dish big apple pies are for! 

I was quite pleased with the result.  An intense apple pie withe the perfect balance of sweet and tart apple filling laced with plenty of aromatic cinnamon and vanilla and a hint of bourbon.  A crisp buttery crust and some cool creamy ice cream made it all quite heavenly! 

My Mom who made the best apple pies when I was young, told me that this pie recieves and A+!  I would have settled for A for taste and B for appearance, but it was up there.  I had to share some with my Grandpa, whose Mom always made apple desserts herself, and decided it was good enough to share some with my boyfrriend Scott and some of his family members. 

This pie was big enough to feed the army...well not literally but it was huge, and good thing since I needed to have a huge piece plus.  A la mode of course!  Even if you have never made an apple pie, you should definately attempt one!  Here is my recipe if you would like to taste it! 

Big Vanilla Bourbon Apple Pie
Makes One 9 inch deep dish pie

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp maple sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 tsp sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean
a stick plus 6 Tbsp cold Earth Balance vegan butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
about 6-7 Tbsp cold water

8 large Haralson (or other tart sweet apples) cut into medium cubes
 1/2 cup maple sugar (or brown sugar)
1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp bourbon
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
the seeds of one vanilla bean
juice of one lemon
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour

coconut milk, for brushing
turbinado sugar, for topping

To make the crust, in a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, sea salt, and vanilla beans.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until it is in pea sized pieces.  Mix in vanilla and just enough water to create a smooth dough that holds together but isn't too sticky.  Add more water if needed, and knead slightly until a smooth dough is created.  Divide into 2 pieces and shape into rounds.  Cover and refridgerate until workable at least 30 minutes.  Roll each out into a 13 inch round using parchment underneath and floured rolling pin.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  To make filling, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.  Place bottom crust into a deep dish pie pan and fit to edges.  Pour filling into bottom crust, then carefully place top crust over and crimp edges together.  Brush top crust with a little coconut milk, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Pierce top crust a few times, and place in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes then reduce oven to 375 (cover with foil if getting too brown) and bake for another  45 minutes to 1 hour until bubbling and apples are tender.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least and hour.  Serve with ice cream!


  1. This pie looks amazing! Apple pie has got to be one of my top desserts. Well done! I am bookmarking this. Buzzed!

  2. coconut, vanilla, apples and Bourbon??? my favorites!!! ... this recipe is a keeper for sure. Thank you =)

  3. Nothing beats homemade apple pie! This looks delicious and I love your addition of the bourbon!

  4. I agree - taste takes the cake (or pie, in this case) any day! But this looks delicious - crust fumble or no crust fumble. And I love the idea of adding bourbon. I've tried a lot of apple pie recipes, but that's a new one. Sounds yummy!

  5. My god, that filling sounds so good.

  6. This sounds amazing Amy! Apple pie is wonderful anyway but I love the addition of the bourbon.

  7. This apple pie looks amazing and you did such a great job. Its beautiful!