Cider Bourbon Apple Pie Filling

Over the weekend, I made a Cider Bourbon Apple pie (a pie that I've made only once before, last Thanksgiving). A few friends were interested in the recipe, so I decided to share. My apologies for a lack of photos, but I made this one for friends and was not expecting to do a whole post on it. 

This recipe incorporates My Go-To, Never Fails to Please Pie Crust and How Sweet It Is's filling. First, start with my dough recipe (linked) or your favorite pie crust recipe. While the dough is chilling you can start making the filling.

Filling
6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What I like about this recipe is you can use what apples are in season and can opt for your favorites. I used a mix of local Wisconsin Zestar and Honeycrisp apples. After coring, peeling, and slicing, I added five tablespoons of flour (the original recipe called for 2 1/2, but these apples were on the juicier side, so I adjusted the ratios) plus 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and coated the apples.

Set apple mixture aside.

In a small saucepan add the bourbon (I have used Bulleit and Four Roses and had stellar results with both), cider, sugar (dark brown sugar for an extra layer of flavor), butter and vanilla extract. Cook on medium heat until it reaches a boil. At that point reduce it to a simmer and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes (until slightly thickened). You want to keep an eye on the sauce and make sure it doesn't burn. My stove doesn't like to simmer, so I can never walk away from the kitchen when heating anything with sugar. 

Then pour it over and gently toss with the apple mixture.

Then all you have to do is roll out your pie dough on a floured surface, add the dough base to the pie plate/pan, add your filling and then add your top layer of crust.

My pie making trick: Pre-heat your oven only after you have your pie shaped the way you like. A cooler kitchen will make it easy to work with your pie dough. Once your pie is ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 375 F.  For this pie, baked for 45-50 minutes. 

This pie can be served plain, or with ice cream or homemade whipped cream. It also tastes amazing for breakfast the next day with a cup of coffee. And we all know who would approve of that.