Ron's Brandy Apple Pie

1 12-inch pie

Ron Dube's recipe for brandy apple pie won first place in Stone Barns' 2006 pie contest.


For the Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating and pie plate

  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour, preferably stone ground

  • ¼ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of mace

  • 1 ¾ cups (3 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pie plate

  • ¼ cup brandy, chilled

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • Red food coloring

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • ½ cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar

  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

  • Pinch of mace

  • 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup brandy

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pie plate

  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten


  1. Make the crust: In a large bowl, sift together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and mace. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until pea-size clumps form. In a small bowl, whisk together brandy, vanilla, and whole egg. Pour into flour mixture and blend with a fork until mixture is moist and holds together.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Sprinkle with just enough flour and sugar to coat. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, sift together sugars, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and mace; set aside. Place apples in another large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together brandy and vanilla; pour over apples. Add 3/4 of the flour mixture to the apples; toss to combine.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-inch pie plate; set aside. Place two large sheets of plastic wrap on top of one another on a work surface. Sprinkle with enough flour and sugar to lightly coat. Place 1 disk of dough on plastic wrap, and lightly sprinkle with flour and sugar. Cover dough with 2 large pieces plastic wrap. Roll out dough between plastic wrap to a 14-inch circle. Peel off top layers of plastic wrap and flip dough over into prepared pie plate. Carefully peel off remaining layers of plastic wrap. Using scissors or a sharp paring knife, trim edges to 1 inch. Reserve trimmings.

  5. Sprinkle reserved flour mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Fill with apple mixture, mounding in the center; dot with butter. Roll out second disk of dough between plastic wrap following the same process as above. Lay over apples. Cut vents into top crust. Trim edges to 1 inch and seal crimping edges with thumb and forefinger.

  6. Divide beaten egg yolk in half. Add enough red food coloring to half the yolk to create desired shade of red; set remaining yolk aside. Gather reserved pastry trimmings together and roll 1/8 inch thick; brush with colored yolk. Cut out into leaf shapes.

  7. Brush top of pie with reserved egg yolk and attach decorative shapes. Sprinkle with sugar.

  8. Place pie on a baking sheet. This will catch any juices that may overflow during baking. Loosely cover pie with parchment-lined aluminum foil. Transfer pie to oven and bake for about 1 hour. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for another hour. During the last 10 minutes of baking, remove foil so that the pie has a nice golden color. Serve pie warm.

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