Apple Bourbon Pot Pie is a truly special treat. This is where comfort food meets dinner-party-worthy dessert. All the elements can be made ahead for easy entertaining (includes an alcohol-free option).
Why you’ll love this recipe
This recipe has all the great attributes of a good Apple Pie, but it looks fancy enough to serve at the end of a dinner party or holiday meal
The apple filling has a luscious sauce made with apple cider and just a hint of bourbon. Remember, alcohol accentuates other flavors. If you don’t want to use alcohol just replace the bourbon with more apple cider.
A hint of cinnamon and vanilla rounds out the flavor perfectly.
- Apples – A firm apple that doesn’t fall apart when baked works best. Granny Smith is a good option that is widely available.
- Puff Pastry – You can use homemade or store bought puff pastry. Commercial puff pastry is one of the best pre-made pastry products and I don’t mind using it myself.
- Apple Cider – The cider gives the filling a deep apple flavor. You can use apple juice in place of the cider. Taste and adjust the sugar as needed if you use juice.
- Bourbon – The alcohol is optional, but, remember, alcohol enhances other flavors. You can substitute rum, applejack or more apple cider.
How to make Apple Pot Pie
- Whip the whites to full peak. Whisk in the yolks and vanilla.
- Sift the over the batter and gently fold it in.
- Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into 4″ long x 2″ wide “fingers”.
- Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
- Bake until light brown and spongy about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Cook the custard over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
- Sandwich the ladyfingers with the preserves.
- Cut a ladyfinger sandwich in half, lengthwise.
- Stand the ladyfingers on end, with the cut side to the outside of a glass trifle bowl. Continue cutting and arranging the ladyfingers until the entire perimeter of the bowl is lined with a “striped” pattern.
- Use half of the remaining uncut cookies to the line bottom of the bowl. You can break them up to fit pieces into any gaps between the cookies.
- Sprinkle a ½ cup of the sherry over the cookies on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour half of the custard into the bowl. Arrange the remaining cookies over the custard and sprinkle with the remaining sherry.
- Pour the other half the custard into the bowl.
- Top the trifle with whipped cream and refrigerate at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
- Toss the chopped apples with all the ingredients except the starch.
- Let them macerate for 1-3 hours.
- After 2 hours of macerating, juice is released from the apples and some of the sugar is absorbed, reinforcing the cells walls of the fruit.
- Cook until the apples are crisp-tender.
- Add the cornstarch and cook until the juices are thickened and translucent.
- Divide the apples between the ramekins.
- Brush the ramekins with egg to hold the top in place while it bakes.
- Place a dough round on each ramekin.
- Cut a slit in the top for steam to escape as it bakes. A little sugar makes a crunchy topping on the crust.
Pastry Chef tips for making this recipe
- Macerating the apples will prevent them from completely breaking down and becoming like apple sauce. See this post to read more about the science behind macerating fruit.
- To work ahead you can make the pot pies up to the point where you cover the ramekins with the dough. At this point you can wrap the tray of pies and refrigerate several hours or overnight before baking. The pies might take a few extra minutes to bake if they are cold when they go into the oven.
- Cutting a slit in the top of each pie allows steam to escape. This will keep the crust crisp and minimize boil-overs.
- Placing the ramekins on a tray makes it easier to move the pies to and from the oven and also prevents any juices from spilling in the oven.
Apple Pot Pies are best enjoyed warm from the oven. They can be held at room temperature for several hours or in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Reheat in a low oven to warm the apples and re-crisp the pastry.
More apple recipes like this
- Apple Maple Glazed Pie
- Apple Dumplings
- Apple Fritter Donuts
- French Apple Tart
- Apple Frangipane Tart
- Apple Cobbler
- Dutch Apple Tart
- Apple Walnut Linzer Tart
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Apple Bourbon Pot Pie
- 3 pounds apples (peeled, cored, ½" cubes)
- 4 oz brown sugar (½ cup)
- 4 oz apple cider (½ cup)
- 2 oz Bourbon (¼ cup (optional, see note))
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ recipe Classic Puff Pastry (or use 1 sheet of frozen dough)
- 1 egg (whisked for egg wash)
- Combine 3 pounds apples (diced) with 4 oz brown sugar, 4 oz apple cider, 2 oz Bourbon, ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Split ½ vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and bean pod to the apples. Set aside to macerate for at least 1 hour and as long as 3 hours. (See Note)
- Drain the apples, saving the juice. Combine ¼ cup of the juice with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Set aside
- Put the apples and the rest of the juice in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high until the juices begin to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the apples are crisp-tender, stirring often. The apples should still hold their shape. The exact time will depend on the type of apple, estimate 10 minutes.
- Add the corn starch mixture to the apples. Increase the heat to medium-high and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until the juices are slightly thickened and become translucent. Transfer the apple filling to a container and cool to room temperature. Chill until ready to use. The filling can be made 2-3 days ahead.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Place six 1-cup ramekins or a large casserole dish onto a sheet pan. Divide the apple filling between the dishes (or pour into the casserole dish).
- Roll the puff pastry to a 1/4" thick. For individual pies use a biscuit cutter to cut six 4½" circles. For a large pot pie use the entire sheet.
- Brush the edges of the ramekins with egg wash. Place a dough round onto each dish and fold the edges over. (see note) Make a slit into the top of each small pie or a large "x" if making one larger pie. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Bake until the pastry is puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
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