It’s no secret that I love apple pie and I’ve made all kinds over the years, from double crust pies to streusel-topped pies to crustless pies. This Apple Cider Pie is a new favorite, but unlike some of the other apple pies I’ve made, this one doesn’t contain a single piece of apple.
Instead of starting with chopped up apples, this pie starts with apple cider, which is reduced down into a syrup that concentrates all of that sweet-tart apple flavor. It will take about 30 minutes to reduce the apple cider to the proper consistency, but it can be done a day or two ahead of time and stored in the fridge, ready to use on short notice when you’re ready to bake. The quality of the cider is going to directly impact the pie, so be sure to choose a good one. Look for ciders (or unfiltered apple juices) that are not from concentrate and, if possible, list the variety of apple used on the packaging. The farmer’s market is a great place to find freshly pressed cider, but there are many good options to choose from out there.
The cider syrup is combined with buttermilk, eggs and sugar to make the custard filling and poured into the pie shell. If you have apple brandy, add that to the filling to enhance the apple flavor even more. The pie doesn’t take that long to bake, so your pie shell must be prebaked and cooled before the filling is added to ensure that it is fully baked when you are ready to slice and serve the pie. The filling has an amazing apple flavor and an unbelievably creamy, silky texture that make each bite just melt in your mouth. It delivers at least as much flavor as a traditional apple pie, but in a very different format.
If you like apple pie as much as I do, this pie will become a fast favorite. It is an excellent choice for all fall entertaining and can be served alongside more “traditional” pies at Thanksgiving. Serve it plain or top it off with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Apple Cider Pie
9-inch pie shell, prebaked and cooled*
2 cups unfiltered apple cider
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp apple brandy (optional)
In a small saucepan, bring cider to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce cider to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. Allow cider syrup to cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, whisk together cider syrup, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and apple brandy (if using) until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared pie shell.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until filling is set and jiggles only slightly when the pan is moved. Allow pie to cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
* If your pie crust is not baked, roll it out and place it in your pie pan. Fill with pie weights (read this post) and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before proceeding with the recipe.