I know this sounds crazy, but beer soaked apple pie is really good, well so long as you like beer and apple pie, and I really like beer and apple pie!
This recipe was invented when beer appreciation night was combined with pie night. Yes, I have awesome friends and we hold such events. So I thought let’s combine beer and pie, that seems like it can only make things better and being me, I challenged myself to combine beer into a sweet pie because clearly a savoury beer pie was just too easy. And hence, beer soaked apple pie was born.
There are a few tricks to getting this to work, the most important of which is to get a beer that suits. I know they say you should always cook with your best wine, but let’s be honest, you usually use cheap plonk and drink the good stuff, but it is imperative for beer soaked apple pie to get the right beer. Surprisingly the beer is not a cider (that might work, I haven’t tried it, but it would have been cheating for beer appreciation night).
My preference is Moo Brew Pale Ale, I have made this pie twice with Moo Brew with spectacular results and this time I made it with 4 Pines Pale Ale which was a bit stronger in the final pie but still a cracking good dessert. What you are looking for is a good quality beer (something that is made with good ingredients), that has a clean taste, is a little hoppy, so a pale ale seems to work well.
The beer is not actually cooked into the final pie, the chopped apple just rests in the beer for a few hours to take on the flavours and characteristics of the beer. So your final pie doesn’t taste much like beer, but it is a little yeasty, a little hoppy and a little malty. So it really is almost like using the beer like a bouquet garni for apple pie.
3 cups of flour
2/3 cup of icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
250g of butter, in ½ inch cubes
2 egg yolks
2tbs of chilled water
Apple Pie Filling
4 large cooking apples (I used a combination of Granny Smith and Mutsu)
2 bottles of beer (see discussion above for the type)
3tbs of sugar (more if your apples are very tart)
Milk (for brushing on top)
Peel and core your apples, then slice them into small chunks.
Place the apple in a large bowl and pour the beer over apples. Leave the mixture to soak for about 4 hours, stirring once or twice so any apple that is not covered in beer gets some time swimming in the beer.
Once the apples are soaking, prepare the pastry so it has time to chill and blind bake. Firstly put the flour, icing sugar and butter into a food processor and process until it looks like bread crumbs. Then add the egg yolks and enough chilled water to get the pastry to form a ball, that’s usually about 2 tablespoons for this much flour, but it will depend on the moisture in your flour and the weather. Split the pastry in two, forming a squashed ball with each. Wrap it in cling wrap and chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
After chilling, roll one ball out and then fit it into a pie pan or spring form pan, chill again for about 30 minutes before blind baking at 200 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. This stops the pastry getting soggy when the filling is added.
After the apples have soaked for a good few hours, drain the beer from the apples. You can certainly drink the beer liquid, it tastes like a cider. Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottomed pot and then cook the apples on a moderate heat until they soften.
While the apples are cooking, roll out the second ball of pastry and cut it into strips about 2cm wide. This will make a lattice on top of your pie.
Press the cooked apple firmly into your blind-baked pastry case and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of sugar. Arrange the pastry strips into a lattice design on top of the apple. Brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle the last tablespoon of sugar over the top.
Bake for about 40 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius until the top is golden.
I let the pie cool a little and then served it warm with minted cream, orange slices and pomegranate arils.