PPQ: Southern Comfort Apple Pie

by Shawnda on October 31, 2011

in Apples,Pies and Tarts,Project Pastry Queen

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

That right there – that’s going to be my contribution to Thanksgiving this year.

If you follow any of the other Project Pastry Queen members’ blogs (and you totally should), you’ve probably read high praise about this week’s recipe: Southern Comfort Apple Pie, chosen by Sarah of 20-Something Cupcakes. I will echo the praise: this is the best apple pie I’ve ever eaten.

In short, it’s an apple pie with a streusel topping. But calling it just an apple pie doesn’t do it any justice. The filling consists of apples and a dreamy cinnamon-caramel sauce made with cinnamon, sugar, butter, cream, and Southern Comfort. Yeah, that Southern Comfort. It’s sandwiched between my favorite pie crust recipe and a pecan streusel that’s so good you could eat it cold. But you won’t… because that would be weird.

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

I made the recipe as written, except I didn’t toast the pecans in the streusel (the pie bakes for an hour, I figured the pecans would burn) and I added a generous pinch of sea salt to the filling while it cooked. I used 6 apples that weighed 9-10 oz each before peeling and coring (3 honey crisp, 3 granny smith).

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

An apple pie with a whiskey-caramel-cinnamon filling. Hands-down, the very best apple pie I've ever eaten.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, or make your own (this is my favorite recipe)
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup (11 Tbsp) chilled butter
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water, possibly more
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tbsp) chilled butter
  • For the filling:
  • 6 medium apples (I used 3 honeycrisp and 3 granny smith, weighing 9-10 oz each before peeling and coring)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Southern Comfort (or Bourbon or Jack - I've used it all)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt,
  2. Add the cubed butter (I cut into quarters lengthwise and then make small cubes) to the bowl, toss to coat, and then cut the butter into the flour until the butter cubes are about the size of small peas. You can use a pastry cutter or two knives. I use my fingers - it's a workout!
  3. Add 4 Tbsp of the cold water and stir with a spoon at first, and then use your hands to fold the dough a few times to create one large ball - add the additional water 1 Tbsp at a time until it holds together (your liquid usage will vary).
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. In a bowl (or food processor), combine the topping ingredients: both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour and mix. Cut in the butter (by hand or machine) until crumbly and stir in the pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  8. Melt the butter for the filling in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute teh apples for 5-8 minutes.
  9. Transfer the apples to a plate leaving as much of the liquid behind as possible.
  10. Add the sugar, cinnamon (and a pinch of salt, if using), and whiskey to the skillet, simmering for at least 5 minutes until much of the alcohol burns off.
  11. Add the cream and cook another 5-10 minutes more, until it is thick as pourable caramel.
  12. Return the apples to the skillet and stir to coat.
  13. Roll out the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and then transfer it to a deep dish pie plate, crimping the edges.
  14. Pour the filling into the pie plate, sprinkle the streusel topping over, and put in the oven on a baking sheet for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping has browned.
  15. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Source: The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen October 31, 2011 at 10:28 am

Oooh, that sounds *amazing*. I may have to try that, and then try it again with some bourbon instead of the SoCo.

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2 amanda @ fake ginger October 31, 2011 at 10:48 am

I think all of us loved this one! I know I’m making it for Thanksgiving too! Yours looks fantastic!

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3 Emily October 31, 2011 at 11:09 am

absolutely gorgeous photo, Shawnda! this was the other pie I made at the cabin, so I had my limited resources–I had so wanted to take a picture of a slice since the apples were prettier than the crumb topping and you did exactly that!

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4 Chelsea October 31, 2011 at 11:28 am

Oh my gracious, that looks fantastic.

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5 Tizzy October 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I think I need to make this…. your pictures made me want to lick my computer screen!

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6 Lynn October 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm

You aren’t joking about all the glowing reviews! This one has officially made my Thanksgiving Day menu too. ;)

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7 Carol October 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm

That looks fabulous! I would totally eat it cold because I love cold apple pie and I suppose I’m weird like that. :)

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8 Joanne October 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Okkk…and now I truly believe this is going to be MY contribution to Thanksgiving. The cinnamon caramel insides and that amazing streusel…it’s basically a dream come true!

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9 Katrina November 1, 2011 at 5:37 am

Love this pie! It sounds so yummy!

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10 Courtney @Bake.Eat.Repeat. November 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

This has been on my “to bake” list for a long time now, and now that I’ve heard yet another rave review, it’s moving up to the “must make NOW” list. I’m wondering the same thing as Jen…how would this be with bourbon? I’m already a sucker for apple/bourbon combos.

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11 foodiebride November 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I haven’t tried bourbon but if you like the apple-bourbon combo, then I think you’d be *really* happy with it in the pie.

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12 Kelsey November 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Oh my. This looks even more amazing than I imagined it would. Yum, yum, and YUM!

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13 Tracey November 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I am so eager to try this one, it just sounds out of this world! Great pics too :)

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14 Maria November 1, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Oh mai gawsh. I was just gonna make hand pies this year but I can’t anymore! :D

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15 ErinsFoodFiles November 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Wow! My husband’s favorite pie is Apple Crumb Pie. I have a feeling this recipe will knock the old recipe off for sure! I’m trying it next!

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16 sherri @ the life of a wife November 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

This looks incredible! I don’t normally like apple pies, but if there’s a streusel topping my interest is piqued! I posted a similar recipe today (http://www.thelifeofawife.com/2011/11/apple-pie-squares.html); it’s an apple pie in the version of a bar, with a shortbread crust and streusel topping!

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17 Lisa @ The Cooking Bride November 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Recipes with booze in them are always better! I will definitely be making this…

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18 Erin @ Texanerin Baking December 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

I made this! The flavor was amazing but I totally screwed it up. I guess my pie pan is too small and the butter overflowed, and although I had a Silpat underneath, the butter got all over the bottom of the oven and I made a big smoky mess. Whoops. Oh well. I’ll definitely make this again! I just need a proper sized pie pan. :) I live in Germany and butter is kind of different here and causes annoying problems like this.

Thanks for posting this! Everyone loved it and was really impressed.

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19 Tiffany October 4, 2012 at 9:34 am
20 Shannon October 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I am already looking forward to Thanksgiving….I have made this the last 2 years and it is the best pie ever!

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21 Keyli October 23, 2014 at 2:19 pm

This looks delicious! Unfortunately, I cannot get the recipe as Sarah changed her website so the link doesn’t work. Any chance you could write out the full recipe as it’s not on the PPQ website either?

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22 Shawnda October 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Aw, bummer! Yes – I will add it here this weekend. It is a WONDERFUL pie and must be shared :)

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23 Shawnda October 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Aw, bummer! Yes – I will add it here this weekend. It is a WONDERFUL pie and must be shared :)

Reply

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