About a year ago, my dear friend Erik hosted a whiskey tasting party. I found an intriguing label among the brown liquids on display—Leopold Brothers’ New York Apple Whiskey. The moment that the sweet, viscous gentle sting of autumnal bliss passed my lips pie possibilities immediately sprang to mind. The flavor was caramely, robust, and subtly apple-flavored. I knew that it would complement—and not overwhelm—the sweet and tart beauty of apples in an apple pie.
- 1 Perfect Pie Crust
- Approximately 3 ½ pounds of tart crisp apples, peeled, cored and roughly diced. Try Pink Ladies, Cortlands, or mixture of Granny Smiths and McIntosh Apples.
- ¾ cup Leopold Bros. New York Apple Whiskey
- ½ fresh lemon, squeezed
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg beaten with a splash of milk, cream, or half-and-half
- Turbinado sugar
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 400 degrees
- Pour ¾ cup of the apple whiskey into a large bowl. Peel, core, slice and roughly cube the apples, place them in a bowl and coat them with the liquor as you go. (This both imparts flavor into the apples, and keeps them from getting brown.)
- Combine the remaining ingredients with a rubber spatula.
- Once the oven is preheated, put a baking sheet on the middle rack to get warm about 15 minutes before putting the pie in the oven—this will provide a hot surface to start cooking the bottom crust and prevent it from getting soggy.
- Spray the bottom of a pie dish with Pam.
- Roll out the bottom layer of crust, fit it over the pie dish and lightly form it to the shape of the dish
- Place the filling in the bottom crust and dot with butter
- Roll out the top crust and lay on top of the bottom crust, crimp the edges to your liking and slice holes in the top—leave holes (or lattice-work) big enough to let the moisture seep out.
- Brush the top of the pie crust with the egg mixture and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Place on the cookie sheet on the middle rack at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 and bake the rest of the way—until juices are bubbling, approximately 50 minutes.
- Let the pie fully cool on a wire rack—at least a 2 hours.