Southern Comfort Apple Pie

in Apples, Pastry, Pies and Tarts, Project Pastry Queen

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

That right there – that’s going to be my contribution to Thanksgiving this year.

If you follow any of the other Project Pastry Queen members’ blogs (and you totally should), you’ve probably read high praise about this week’s recipe: Southern Comfort Apple Pie, chosen by Sarah. I will echo the praise:

This is the best apple pie I’ve everever EVER eaten.


In short, it’s an apple pie with a streusel topping. But calling it just an apple pie doesn’t do it any justice. The filling consists of apples and a dreamy cinnamon-caramel sauce made with cinnamon, sugar, butter, cream, and Southern Comfort. Yeah, that Southern Comfort. It’s sandwiched between my favorite pie crust recipe and a pecan streusel that’s so good you could eat it cold. But you won’t… because that would be weird.

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

I made the recipe as written, except I didn’t toast the pecans in the streusel (the pie bakes for an hour, I figured the pecans would burn) and I added a generous pinch of sea salt to the filling while it cooked. I used 6 apples that weighed 9-10 oz each before peeling and coring (3 honey crisp, 3 granny smith).

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

An apple pie with a whiskey-caramel-cinnamon filling. Hands-down, the very best apple pie I've ever eaten.


  • 1 pie crust, or make your own (this is my favorite recipe)
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup (11 Tbsp) chilled butter
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water, possibly more
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tbsp) chilled butter
  • For the filling:
  • 6 medium apples (I used 3 honeycrisp and 3 granny smith, weighing 9-10 oz each before peeling and coring)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Southern Comfort (or Bourbon or Jack - I've used it all)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt,
  2. Add the cubed butter (I cut into quarters lengthwise and then make small cubes) to the bowl, toss to coat, and then cut the butter into the flour until the butter cubes are about the size of small peas. You can use a pastry cutter or two knives. I use my fingers - it's a workout!
  3. Add 4 Tbsp of the cold water and stir with a spoon at first, and then use your hands to fold the dough a few times to create one large ball - add the additional water 1 Tbsp at a time until it holds together (your liquid usage will vary).
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. In a bowl (or food processor), combine the topping ingredients: both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour and mix. Cut in the butter (by hand or machine) until crumbly and stir in the pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  8. Melt the butter for the filling in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the apples for 5-8 minutes.
  9. Transfer the apples to a plate leaving as much of the liquid behind as possible.
  10. Add the sugar, cinnamon (and a pinch of salt, if using), and whiskey to the skillet, simmering for at least 5 minutes until much of the alcohol burns off.
  11. Add the cream and cook another 5-10 minutes more, until it is thick as pourable caramel.
  12. Return the apples to the skillet and stir to coat.
  13. Roll out the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and then transfer it to a deep dish pie plate, crimping the edges.
  14. Pour the filling into the pie plate, sprinkle the streusel topping over, and put in the oven on a baking sheet for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping has browned.
  15. Serve warm or room temperature.


Yields: 8 servings

Source: The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes

23 comments… add one
  • Jen

    Oooh, that sounds *amazing*. I may have to try that, and then try it again with some bourbon instead of the SoCo.

  • I think all of us loved this one! I know I’m making it for Thanksgiving too! Yours looks fantastic!

  • absolutely gorgeous photo, Shawnda! this was the other pie I made at the cabin, so I had my limited resources–I had so wanted to take a picture of a slice since the apples were prettier than the crumb topping and you did exactly that!

  • Oh my gracious, that looks fantastic.

  • Tizzy

    I think I need to make this…. your pictures made me want to lick my computer screen!

  • You aren’t joking about all the glowing reviews! This one has officially made my Thanksgiving Day menu too. 😉

  • That looks fabulous! I would totally eat it cold because I love cold apple pie and I suppose I’m weird like that. 🙂

  • Okkk…and now I truly believe this is going to be MY contribution to Thanksgiving. The cinnamon caramel insides and that amazing streusel…it’s basically a dream come true!

  • Love this pie! It sounds so yummy!

  • This has been on my “to bake” list for a long time now, and now that I’ve heard yet another rave review, it’s moving up to the “must make NOW” list. I’m wondering the same thing as Jen…how would this be with bourbon? I’m already a sucker for apple/bourbon combos.

    • I haven’t tried bourbon but if you like the apple-bourbon combo, then I think you’d be *really* happy with it in the pie.

  • Oh my. This looks even more amazing than I imagined it would. Yum, yum, and YUM!

  • I am so eager to try this one, it just sounds out of this world! Great pics too 🙂

  • Oh mai gawsh. I was just gonna make hand pies this year but I can’t anymore! 😀

  • Wow! My husband’s favorite pie is Apple Crumb Pie. I have a feeling this recipe will knock the old recipe off for sure! I’m trying it next!

  • This looks incredible! I don’t normally like apple pies, but if there’s a streusel topping my interest is piqued! I posted a similar recipe today (; it’s an apple pie in the version of a bar, with a shortbread crust and streusel topping!

  • Recipes with booze in them are always better! I will definitely be making this…

  • I made this! The flavor was amazing but I totally screwed it up. I guess my pie pan is too small and the butter overflowed, and although I had a Silpat underneath, the butter got all over the bottom of the oven and I made a big smoky mess. Whoops. Oh well. I’ll definitely make this again! I just need a proper sized pie pan. 🙂 I live in Germany and butter is kind of different here and causes annoying problems like this.

    Thanks for posting this! Everyone loved it and was really impressed.

  • Shannon

    I am already looking forward to Thanksgiving….I have made this the last 2 years and it is the best pie ever!

  • Keyli

    This looks delicious! Unfortunately, I cannot get the recipe as Sarah changed her website so the link doesn’t work. Any chance you could write out the full recipe as it’s not on the PPQ website either?

    • Aw, bummer! Yes – I will add it here this weekend. It is a WONDERFUL pie and must be shared 🙂

    • Aw, bummer! Yes – I will add it here this weekend. It is a WONDERFUL pie and must be shared 🙂

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