Apple Pie with Scotch-Spiked Cherries

Look who’s photobombing my food photography!  Even Lucy can’t help but get excited over this just-out-of-the-oven pie.  I think she’s hoping a crumb will magically fall in her direction- nice try Lu!

This is a new addition to my Thanksgiving sweets table this year- fancifying the traditional Apple Pie, adding dried cherries soaked in Scotch.  Bourbon or Jack Daniels would also work beautifully in this recipe.

Apple Pie with Scotch-Spiked Cherries

Makes 8 servings


Flaky Pie Crust for 2 crust Pie (*see below for recipe)
1 cup dried cherries
4 tablespoons Scotch whiskey
3 pounds (about 5 large) apples (use a combination such as granny smith, pink lady and fuji), peeled, halved and cored
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream, for glaze
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for glaze


Prepare pie crust dough, shape into a disk, wrap in plastic and put in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.  You can do this the day before.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix cherries and Scotch and let sit for 30 minutes.  Toss a few times during soaking to make sure all cherries get covered.

In another small bowl, mix together sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.


Slice apples thin and add them to a large bowl.  Toss in the sugar/flour mixture followed by the cherries and their liquid and combine all ingredients until mixed well.  (I like to use my hands for this.)  Set aside.

Remove pie dough from the refrigerator, cut it in half, roll out the bottom pie crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate.

Pour apple filling into pie crust.  Dot with butter (pinching butter into tiny bits with your fingers and dotting evenly over filling.)

Roll our remaining pie dough and arrange over filling, crimping bottom and top of pie crust edges together.

Mix the milk or cream and tablespoon of sugar to make glaze and brush top of crust (except edges.)  Cut several slits in top crust.

Put a cookie sheet on the very bottom rack of the oven to catch and drippings.  Place the pie dish on the rack above that and bake for about 1 hour until crust is golden brown and juices bubble through the top crust.  If edges are browning too quickly, cover them with foil or a pie crust sheild.

Cool pie for at least 30 minutes to an hour on a wire rack.  Serve warm with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Flaky Pie Crust (for 2-crust pie)

I’ve been making this pie crust since I was 16 years old.  My secret is to use equal parts of COLD butter and COLD shortening for a crust that’s flavorful AND flaky.


2 1/2  cup sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup  cold vegetable shortening, (like crisco) cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes

4-8 tablespoons ice water


In large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt.

Add cold butter and shortening cubes to flour mixture and with your fingertips or a pastry blender (I like using my fingers for better control), pinch or cut in fat until mixture forms clumps about the size of tiny peas (clumps will be uneven.)

Quickly sprinkle ice water 1 tablespoon at a time over all of the flour mixture, tossing lightly with a spoon until you can form the dough into a ball.  (Don’t overwork dough.)

Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.  (I like to make my pie dough the day before.)

Take the pie disk out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes just to soften a bit.

Choose a smooth surface to roll out the dough like a cutting board or counter.  Dust surface and rolling pin lightly with flour.

When ready to roll dough, remove disk from plastic and place in the middle of your surface. (Cut disk in half for a two crust pie.) Dust the top of the dough with some flour and begin to roll, starting at the center and working your way out on all sides. After a few rolls, turn the dough over, lightly reflour the board and continue to roll into a 12 inch circle of about 1/8 inch thickness.  Close up any cracks by pinching them together and smoothing out gently with the rolling pin.

To move the dough, fold it in half, then in quarters and place into pie dish.  Gently open up the folds and fit dough into the bottom of the pie dish.  Crimp edges with your fingers and cover up any holes or cracks at this time.  (A little water can be used to help with cracks just by dipping your finger in the water and gently pinching the dough back together.)

One Response to Apple Pie with Scotch-Spiked Cherries

  1. Robin Hamilton says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I’ve loved all your recipes I’ve tried. As an aside, I love you in the Y&R as well. (I’ve watched since I was a child.) My son-in-law doesn’t like nuts, and my husband loves apple pie, so I searched your site for a Christmas apple pie recipe. I used this one. My husband doesn’t like cherries, so I omitted the cherries and scotch. I was concerned about the liquid, so I substituted 4 tablespoons of champagne. It was great! I believe it gets better every day! If I’d had apple cider, I would have used that, but my family & I loved the “champagne” apple pie! Thank you for all your hard work and help with great recipes!

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