May 13 is National Apple Pie Day, which sounds like a great excuse to bake a pie! We also wanted to add a local twist to our pie, so we made it with Apple Pie Moonshine from Crystal Ridge Distillery in Hot Springs! Back in the Prohibition days, it was very easy for local residents to hide their moonshine stills in the woods. Officers even discovered one still hidden in a hollow log after following several drunk and staggering hogs to its location! Some of Hot Springs most “notable” characters made their fortunes during prohibition (tour The Gangster Museum of America while you’re here to learn more)! Crystal Ridge Distillery has brought their moonshine to Downtown Hot Springs, and is now open to the public for tours and tastings in their historic 1920’s building.
Here’s the recipe I used for my pie:
Moonshine Apple Pie
- 6-8 apples (about 3 3/4 lbs), such as Braeburn, Cameo, Granny Smith, or Pink Lady
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Crystal Ridge Apple Pie Moonshine
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (2 oz), cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) dice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon dry pectin, or an extra 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 9-inch double pie crust
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Peel and core the apples and slice them 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. You should have about 8 cups apple slices. Place 2 large (at least 10-inch) sauté pans over medium-high heat and divide 1/3 cup granulated sugar evenly between them. Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it melts and then caramelizes and turns amber in color, tilting the pans a little to swirl and distribute the color, adjusting the heat as needed. (As soon as the sugar melts, it will quickly start caramelizing, so be ready with the apples as soon as the color of the sugar turns amber.)
Add the apples, dividing them between the 2 pans, and sauté until they are about half-cooked and the juices that are released boil away and reduce until no liquid remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss and stir the apples regularly while they are cooking so they cook evenly on both sides. When the apples are done, they should have some give but should not fall apart when you press one between your fingers. Transfer the apples to a bowl and allow them to cool completely to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). When the apples are cool, add the brown sugar, moonshine, butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, pectin or extra cornstarch, spices, and salt and toss to combine.
Dump the apple filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Place the remaining pastry circle on top, roll the crust overhang up and over, and seal. Press or crimp the edge, then use a paring knife to cut a few vents in the top crust. Brush the top of the pie crust with the cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 30 minutes. Tent the pie with foil and continue to bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the pie is evenly golden brown. (The total baking time should be 2 hours.) Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. The pie will still be warm after an hour. Or if you can wait, you can cool it to room temperature and then slice and serve it. I had to chase Bob out of the house in order to give it time to cool!
During your stay at Tiffany’s, we’ll always have a treat available to satisfy your sweet tooth, in addition to breakfast at Tiffany’s each morning. Set in the foothills just outside Hot Springs, Arkansas, our bed and breakfast provides three guest rooms – all with private baths and thoughtful amenities. You may also want to explore our 62 acres of woodlands, cook S’mores at our fire pit, or just relax on our front porch swing. We guarantee you’ll return home feeling well cared for and completely refreshed after your Arkansas getaway. Reserve your room at Tiffany’s today!