Apple Pickin’ Pie with Disappearing Vodka Crust

Since we had such a great time picking apples last year, we went back to Applewood Farm Winery in Stouffeville, Ontario last weekend. This time, we brought the dog!! It was a totally different vibe this year, too. First and foremost, there were different apples available at the farm. Last year, we went on the first wekeend in October, and it was all Honey Crisp all the time! This year, although we went on the same weekend in October, the Spartans and Spencers were in season. [We also managed to pick up some of the last of the Cortlands for our pies.] The weather was absolutely balmy, too. We were coatless by lunch. This made for a pleasant lunch out among the apple boughs – with hotdogs and fries from the new-and-improved food truck there at the farm. The pick-your-own raspberries were an added bonus!

The Cortland apples we picked made for fantastic Thanksgiving Day pies!
Here’s our recipe….with pictures of our apple-picking adventures below.

Apple Pickin' Pie with Disappearing Vodka Crust

Disappearing Vodka Crust is Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Makes One Double-Crust Apple Pie
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


Disappearing Vodka Crust

  • 2.5 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon optional
  • 1 1/2 sticks [12 tbs] cold unsalted butter cubed
  • 1/4 c vodka
  • 1/4 c ice-cold water

Apple Pickin' Pie Filling

  • 4-5 c peeled cored, thick sliced apples - we used about 5-6 very large cortlands
  • brown and/or white sugar
  • cinnamon
  • We don't use flour or starch or other thickeners - but it's your pie! Feel free to add what you like!


Disappearing Vodka Crust

  • In a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 c flour, salt and sugar until combined.
  • Add the butter and shortening and process until the dough becomes clumpy.
  • Add the other 1 c flour and pulse until mixture is combined but still clumpy.
  • Add the vodka 1 tbs at a time, pulsing sparingly.
  • Add the ice-cold water 1 tbs at a time, pulsing sparingly, until the dough just sticks together.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Flatten each half into a disk.
  • Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling and baking.

Apple Pickin' Pie Filling

  • As you slice your apples, add sugar by the tablespoon and cinnamon by the 1/4 teaspoon to taste.
  • Stir this mixture as you go so that the apples are coated in a lovely sweet syrup.

Apple Pickin' Pie Assembly and Baking

  • Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll each crust into a flat round circle.
  • [I find that rolling the dough between two pieces of gently floured waxed paper works most effectively.]
  • Place one crust in the pie plate, leaving the edges of the disc hanging about 1 inch over the edges.
  • [Optional] Place a ceramic pie vent (bird) in the center of the pie.
  • Fill the pie with the apple mixture as high as you like. [Just don't cover the top of your pie vent]
  • Scatter the cubes of butter over the top of the apple mixture.
  • [Optional] Slice an "x" or a small circle in the center of the top crust if you are using a pie vent.
  • Place the crust over the top of your pile of apples [accomodating the tip of your pie vent if you are using one].
  • Pinch the edges of the crust together, trim them, and crimp them to your taste [i.e. fork, fingers freestyle].
  • [Optional] Brush the crust with a beaten egg yolk.
  • [Optional] Cover the edges of the pie with a metal pie rim or with tin foil if you so choose.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 350 F.
  • Bake for an additional 20-40 minutes, until the apples look baked/you can slice through them fairly easily.
  • It's pie, people. Eat it as soon as you can bite into it without burning your tongue. And then eat the rest for breakfast.

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