Apple Cider Cream Pie

I’m back!

October 2011 will go down as one of the greatest months of my life. It was all so good. I’ll share more soon, but for now let’s get right back into baking.

Traveling at the start of Autumn had me in constant awe of the bounty of food at the markets in Europe and happy(ish) to return to my kitchen and actually make something. I missed cooking! I returned to a pile of magazines, many with turkeys on the cover.

As soon as cool air flows into town, I start thinking about Thanksgiving. I use October and November as recipe testing time. Everything I try is an audition for a spot at the Thanksgiving table. Auditions have begun.

The recipe that most needed me to make it was this apple cider cream pie from the November issue of Food & Wine. It sounded like the apple sour cream tart that I used to love from Fox & Obel, a gourmet market in Chicago. I haven’t seen the tart for a while so I was hopeful this pie, which contains apple cider and sour cream, might be a good substitute—you know me and sour cream.

I was trying to do a million other things while I made this and as a result overcooked the crust, didn’t whisk the custard enough, or wait for the pie to cool completely before piling on the whip cream. Despite all of my mistakes, this was one of the most enjoyable pies ever. The custard is pleasantly sour and the cinnamon scented whipped cream is perfect. I love it.

This recipe is a real keeper, and will very likely end up on my Thanksgiving table (unless some Susan Boyle of a recipe comes along and steals the show). You should make this now.

[One more thing! While I was gone, one of you sent me a great email about thanksgiving recipe ideas, and I accidentally deleted it. Can you resend?! I really wanted to respond!]

Apple Cider Cream Pie (Recipe by Allison Kave via Food & Wine, November 2011)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice and chilled
  • 3 tablespoons cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Filling and Topping

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse in 1-second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine the milk and vinegar and drizzle it on top of the flour mixture. Pulse in 1-second bursts until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough into an 11-inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick; ease it into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough to 1 inch and fold it under itself. Crimp decoratively and chill the crust until firm, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the parchment and pie weights. Cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil and bake for about 10- 15 minutes longer, until the crust is just set but not browned. Press the bottom of the crust lightly to deflate it as it puffs; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.

In a medium saucepan, boil the cider until it’s reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the sugar, the sour cream and salt, then whisk in the eggs.

Pour the custard into the pie shell without removing the foil strips. Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set around the edge but the center is slightly jiggly. Let the pie cool completely.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon until firmly whipped. Mound the whipped cream on the pie, cut into wedges and serve.

The pie is best eaten the day it is made, but it will keep for up to two days in the fridge. If you plan on making it in advance, do not top with the whipped cream until you are ready to serve.

75 comments to “Apple Cider Cream Pie”

  1. Ok I’m sorry if I’m sounding like an idiot here, but I read through the comments also. Is this the apple cider that is refrigerated and brown or the kind in the juice aisle (non refrigerated)? Thanks!

  2. Hey Kelly, you don’t sound like an idiot at all! If you are in the states, the cider is in the fridge (darker and cloudier). You do not want apple juice (on the shelf). Happy baking!

  3. This was incredible! Have made it twice already and has been requested as a Thanksgiving dessert. So glad that I stumbled onto your website, have enjoyed the caramel cake and am eager to try the baked fries! Can’t wait to see what is coming next…

  4. This looks so awesome. And coincidentally we just got back from the local apple farm with a couple of bushels of apples to make cider with.

    On my to-do list. Can’t wait!

  5. I love that there are no apples in this pie, only the cider to give it apple flavor. Pinning to my board of recipes to try.

  6. Do you think this pie would be OK with a pre-made crust?

  7. Hey Jessie- Yes, I think OK is exactly what it would be. I think it is great with a homemade crust. ; ) The crust really isn’t too difficult, but if you give a pre-made crust a try let us all know what you think. Happy baking!

  8. made this pie for thanksgiving this year and…it was a gigantic hit! my first cream pie ever, reminded me of eating chocolate cream pies with my dad when i was a kid! smooth creamy mild custard with a lightly scented whipped cream topping – yum! it was even MORE awesome after refrigeration all night long. i substituted Penzey’s pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, complete success. (btw, if you have not tried spices from Penzey’s, do yourself a favor and try a little of their vanilla sugar, it is absolutely decadent! – )

  9. i will say, the crust is a little heavy. quite buttery and tasty, but a bit bulky for my taste. perhaps this is necessarily to support all that wet custardy filling….?

  10. I debuted my first homemade pic crust with this pie and it was well worth it. In my haste to make the cream topping, I accidentally grabbed the container of cardamom instead of cinnamon. I caught my mistake before I whipped the spice into the cream so I was able to take some if it out to make room for the cinnamon. The hint of cardamom was actually kind of nice, however. Thanks for a terrific blog and great ideas!

  11. Hi from Rio!!!!
    Wondering how I found you?
    I love to bake (actualy own Rio’s one and only chocolate chip cookie factory,) have a bit of american heritage in my upbringining, and have a friend that lives in São Paulo and keeps sending me recipes.
    We have this little game where she sends me a link to a recipe and says: “I dare you!” (in portuguese, “duvido”).
    And as I cant stand being challenged I have just finished baking your pie!

  12. Do you think this pie would be good with a graham cracker like crust, except made with ginger snaps?

  13. Hi Keren- No, I don’t think a gingersnap/graham cracker crust would work as well. But I have been wrong before, so maybe you should give it a try. Let me know if you do!

  14. Hey Tim! I am making this pie for pie day! (Wednesday 3/14) and was wondering.. I am going to wait until Wednesday to make the whipped cream topping and add it before serving, but was wondering if until then, should I store it with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard base? Or does that matter? I know that with curds and other custards you do this at times, but wasn’t sure if it’d make a difference here. Thanks in advance!

  15. Hi Andrea- I don’t think you need to do that, the custard should be fine. That is a great recipe to celebrate pie day with!

  16. Hi Tim! My custard is currently cooling…I was wondering if it would be better to eat it chilled? Also, my custard was quite a bit lighter in color than yours…a pale golden yellow color. Could it have been one of the following reasons? 1. I used fat free sour cream 2. I had 2 small farm fresh eggs and 2 store bought jumbo eggs 3. I used freshly juiced apple cider.

  17. Hey Melia,
    I like the pie best chilled a bit, but you can go either way. It could have been any of those reasons, but I wouldn’t worry about it until you taste it. Proof is in the pudding. ; ) Generally, fat-free sour cream isn’t the greatest for custards. Even the low-fat is a better choice, but really for a pie I think it is worth using the full-fat. Let me know how it turns out!

  18. I just tested out the custard – delicious! I wonder if there is something that would make the apple flavor remain a bit stronger, but it’s still such an interesting and fresh take on apple pie! Thanks!

  19. I made this pie for a birthday this weekend after waiting a year for the right occasion. It is SO delicious, and the crust was incredible. I had to stop myself from licking the bowl of cinnamon whipped cream. Very nice find. It’s going to make a Thanksgiving appearance, for sure.

  20. I made this pie for my family for Thanksgiving last year, and it was the biggest hit. Every recipe I have tried from your site has been incredible – I am in awe! :)

  21. Hiya! Just wanted to say that I made this yesterday for Christmas dinner. It was perfect and delicious. Thank you!

  22. Can I use a ready made crust and add slices of apple to the custard?

  23. Hi Lori, You can use a ready made crust, it won’t be as good but it will work. I do not recommend adding apple slices to the custard. They will not cook and will be weird and crunchy and in the way of the creamy custard.

  24. Hi Tim! I’m wondering how much to let the cider cool before adding the eggs. Do I cool it completely or are the eggs supposed to cook a bit when whisking? Thanks, I’m excited to try this recipe!

  25. Hi Susannah! 15 -20 minutes? You just don’t want it super hot. It can still be warm. I forgot about this recipe! It is one of the best. Hope you enjoy it.