And in even more words, I made a freaking pie!

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

So here’s the deal.

I have now come to believe that in order to make a pie, you have to own it. You have to own the fact that you are going to make the darn pie. There can be no “oh, I’m going to try to make a pie” or “I’m going to make a pie and I hope that it works out.”

No. You have to think “I am going to make this pie or else.” Wait. No. Not even or else. Just – I am going to make a pie. It’s happening and I’m making it and that’s it. Boom.

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

Yeah yeah – you might remember that I tried to make pie crust three years ago and claimed that there must be a pie gene and that I didn’t have it and that I had no clue who Mother Lovett passed it on to. I’m sort of calling BS on myself. I mean, I think it’s kind of true – pie making definitely comes easier for some that others. Especially when it comes to BEAUTIFUL pie making, which I really can’t do.

Sidebar: that’s why I topped my pie with a crumble because dealing with TWO pie crusts (i.e. a top and a bottom) totally broke my brain. Well, that and the fact that… I don’t really like pie crust. Yeah. There. I said it. It’s true.

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

I just don’t love it like some people do. In fact, pastry crust in general is not my cup of tea. Pies aren’t what I lose my you-know-what over – that’s more like cheesecake and massively trashed up desserts. I love puff pastry, but that’s a whole new ballgame. However, apple pie? If it’s GOOD apple pie, like homemade apple pie, I can handle a hot slice with some ice cream. And if it’s apple pie made with, like, bourbon!… that can definitely be done too.

So there’s that.

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

I still stuck with Mother Lovett’s never fail pie crust that I discovered in her recipes a few years ago, but let me refresh your memory. We are pretty convinced over here in this family that it wasn’t the true recipe that she used. Actually, she didn’t use a recipe at all, hence why none of us have the slightest clue on how to make a pie. Also, she made her pie crusts with lard – yep, real life LARD! Someday I would like to attempt that but given that it’s not easily accessible and that for some unknown reason I am scared to ask for things and talk to my local grocery store employees, meaning I have no idea where the lard would even be, I stuck with butter.

So yes, this is an all butter crust.

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

On top of that, I made the entire thing in the food processor. It was SO easy. Had that not been the case, like if I hadn’t learned that I could make it in a food processor, I never would have done this. I can’t be bothered to cut cold butter into flour. Read: I’m too lazy and impatient.

The actual reason behind how I got up the confidence to attempt the pie again? I do some freelance photography for relish magazine and back in the summer, had to make THREE pies. Three freaking pies. Anxiety ensued. Not only did I have to make the pie crust and make the pie and eat the pie, I had to photograph the pie which to me, is just impossible. I loathe photographing anything in a triangle shape and I mean… getting the perfect slice? Oomph.

But. It’s life and work and I had to do it, and that’s when I learned that in order to make it I had to do the whole owning thing. And it happened. That’s when I knew I could make one on my own accord.

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

My pie crust didn’t turn out to be the prettiest – I didn’t prebake it and I still really have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to pie. In a few weeks I’ll do a more in-depth post (like one of my exactly how I do it posts) on making it, but that sure doesn’t mean it’s the right way. I simply tossed the dough in the plate, threw in some apples, topped it with the crumble and baked the heck out of it. The edges shrunk a bit but it was so buttery and flakey.

I ate it for dinner.

I ate it for breakfast.

I had to give it to my parents before I sold my soul to the pie devil. Serious love.

I’m still not a pie person and I don’t think I ever will be, but I feel semi-complete that I got it together enough to make one. And of course… to eat one.

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I


Cider Bourbon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble


crust (as a note, this makes 3 pie crusts)
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (3 sticks or 24 tablespoons)

6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

oatmeal cookie crumble
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


Add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse just until combined. In a small bowl, whisk mix together the egg, vinegar and water. Add the cold butter pieces into the food processor and pulse until small coarse crumbs remain. Sprinkle the water/egg mixture over the flour and pulse again until the dough comes together.

Remove the dough with your hands and wrap it in plastic wrap. This dough makes enough for 3 pie crusts, so you can either separate it into 3 sections now, or separate it after it's refrigerated. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the apples to a large bowl and toss them with the flour and the cinnamon. In a small saucepan, combine the bourbon, cider, sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour it over the apples and toss.

Roll the pie crust out into a 12-inch circle (if you're using a 9-inch pie plate). Fold it in half to pick it up and gently place it in the plate, unfolding as you go and trimming any excess off of the edges - you can also use a fork (or another decorative idea!) to press the edges down. Add the apples to the crust.

oatmeal cookie crumble
Combine the oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to crumble it up and toss it in the mixture - I combine it for a full 5 minutes until it is really incorporated and crumbly. Sprinkle it evenly over the apples.

At this time, it's up to you if you want to cover the edges of the crust with foil strips in case they brown too much. I choose not to, and just check the pie halfway through. At any time you can place foil on the edges (or over top of the crumble) to keep them from browning. Bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes - until the crust and crumble on top are golden. Let the pie cool for at least an hour or so before serving - if you want to be able to cut it into pretty slices. If not, go to town!

Cider Boubon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble I

The end.

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134 Responses to “Cider Bourbon Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble. (in other words, the tale of never fail pie crust, part two.)”

  1. #
    Jennie B — October 11, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    GORGEOUS!!!!!!! I want to dive right into that last picture.


  2. #
    Tieghan — October 11, 2013 @ 7:29 am

    Crazy awesome, Jessica!

    Just yesterday I did a bourbon, oatmeal + apple thing that I have been working on for weeks and finally got! YES! It is no pie, but it freaking feels good to get it. And I mean it is not even anything that should be hard like a pie! HA!

    This is gorgeous!! I am not a big apple pie person and definitely not a double crust pie person (just to much crust for me), so I am loving this!! Plus, bourbon make everything better!


  3. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 11, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    Ok, when it comes to pie I’m far more about the filling than the crust, but oatmeal cookie crumble!?! Girl, THAT is what I’d be loosing my s#!& over! This sounds delicious. And making the crust in the food processor? Pure genius.


  4. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — October 11, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    This looks so good! Apple pie is one of the few pie types I actually like, and with an oat topping? Even better!

    Have a great weekend!


  5. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — October 11, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    God yes, pie and oatmeal crunchies? the best words in the dessert handbook
    This is mouth watering, No wonder my apple storage is getting low, I need to cook this


  6. #
    Nessy — October 11, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    Ooooo this sounds lovely, I’d love to have a go at this but me and the other half dont drink. Would you recommend anything to subsitute the burbon with?

    Thanks Nessy x


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 9:57 am

      you can just use more of the apple cider! :)


  7. #
    Marygrace Taylor — October 11, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    Wow, it’s like you reached into my brain, pulled out everything I love in a dessert, and made it into a pie. This is the most amazing thing ever.


  8. #
    DessertForTwo — October 11, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    There’s just something about committing to a pie and not leaving the kitchen until it happens. I kin pie making abilities to athletics in men. Every woman needs a dose of it.

    I think Mother Lovett was onto something because the secret to a no-fail crust is an egg, but that’s all I know.


  9. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — October 11, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    I love how you use an old recipe and take a pic of the recipe card… I love recipes written on index cards, it reminds me of my grandmother and cooking when I was young. Thanks for sharing!!


  10. #
    nancy k — October 11, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    I am not a lover of pies but do bake them for holidays. I used to get so frustrated with the “soggy bottom” issue until I took a one day pie workshop. I learned that putting the rack on the lowest level of the oven facilitates better bottom baking. Partially pre-baking works as well and a combination of the two makes for a golden, flaky bottom….even for pies that tend to be very juicy.
    I love the topping you created and of course, the booze!


  11. #
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — October 11, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    I love how crumbly this pie looks! It looks and probably tastes better than pie crust anyway. Thanks for sharing, Jessica!


  12. #
    Mercedes — October 11, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    Thank you for thinking you don’t have a pie gene. I thought that too.
    Also thank you for not really liking pie crust. Neither do I.

    With this new knowledge, I am going to ‘own’ my next pie and it’s going to be great!


  13. #
    Victoria Harrah — October 11, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    Totally making this on Saturday!! My boyfriend flies in from Cali and this is a perfect welcome home dessert!! Thanks.. <3 =)


  14. #
    Stephanie — October 11, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    Ross the pie crust out into a 12-inch circle.

    i think you mean roll, but I like Ross so much better. <3


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 9:58 am

      haha! oops, yes.


  15. #
    Stephanie @ PlainChicken — October 11, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    This looks delicious! I especially love the oatmeal cookie crumble. YUM!


  16. #
    Jess — October 11, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    Maybe its because I live in the South (Tennessee to be exact) but we have lard in ALL of our grocery stores here. It is in the baking aisle right next to the shortening and vegetable oil. Yes, that would be animal fat kept on the shelf, gross. :) Would love to see you use lard and let us know what you think!


  17. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — October 11, 2013 @ 9:07 am

    umm, this is incredible. the end.


  18. #
    Anne — October 11, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    I live in the south (Georgia) and lard is readily available in our grocery stores – big shock, I know. Anyway, it’s next to the Crisco and the oils.


  19. #
    kelly @ livelovepasta — October 11, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    You def owned that pie! :)


  20. #
    Kelly Jo — October 11, 2013 @ 9:25 am

    Apple has never been my first choice of pie, but that oatmeal cookie crumble might change my mind! This looks delish. I just started learning how to make pies this year and you are so right, you just have to own it. This pie is definately getting made next weekend.


  21. #
    lacy — October 11, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    ML would be super proud. :)


  22. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — October 11, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. This is one of the most beautiful pies I have ever seen! I only wish it was beautiful on a plate about to go into my belly! Guess it’s time for me to own a pie! yummmmm


  23. #
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — October 11, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    Hi there! OMG, this pie is a beauty. . I can see why you ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and had to give it to your parents before you sold your soul to the pie devil. :) Serious love. Totally. Love this!! going to check out your other 3 pies now!


  24. #
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — October 11, 2013 @ 9:47 am

    where can I find the recipe to that lattice top raspberry? pie on Instagram? is it published anywhere? Gorg!


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 9:59 am

      gah unfortunately i don’t think it will be out until next summer. :( i will search through my email and if i still have it, i will email it to you!


  25. #
    Megan Brewer — October 11, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Wow! I love the idea of topping apple pie with oatmeal cookie crumble. Super brain powers! Good for you! (Sorry I’m a big fan and a little exclamation point obsessed!)


  26. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — October 11, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    It’s beautiful Jessica! Mother Lovett would be so proud! I am not a pie person either, but my guys are. So, I finally developed a gluten free crust that they LOVE. While I’m still not head over heals for pie, I’m happy my men are happy! Your pie sounds amazing!


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 9:59 am

      a gluten free crust?! you’re amazing!!


  27. #
    Vicki @ WITK — October 11, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    Pie is hard! I usually make a crumble and call it a day :)


  28. #
    Katie — October 11, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    This looks absolutely incredible. I LOOOOOVE crumble top pies!!!


  29. #
    Wendy@ All Kinds of Miles — October 11, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    Could you just eat the oatmeal cookie crumble for breakfast? It has oatmeal in it… Also, I love the new picture in your “about Jessica” section!


  30. #
    Ann Baker — October 11, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    You are my true soul sister. I have never met a pie crust that didn’t bring me to tears and a flurry of four letter words. I had high hopes that one of my instructors in culinary school would transform me and show me the pastry light, but nope. I sucked at it even then.

    But your post and your recipe have given me a glimmer of hope. I’m pinning it and promise to give it a try some day. And hey at least if it doesn’t turn out, I’ll have all that bourbon to guzzle, right?!


  31. #
    Katrina — October 11, 2013 @ 10:31 am

    I am pretty sure I have seen lard on the shelf in the Hispanic section of Giant Eagle. In a little white bucket. Not sure where you shop but the Pine Market District should have it.


  32. #
    Jules — October 11, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Crisco is pretty much lard, trust me, it is. Try it!


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

      you think?? my grandma always said that crisco never produced the same result. i tried it with crust as few years ago though.


      • Jules — October 14th, 2013 @ 8:34 am

        My g’ma always makes the best crust from scratch and she always uses crisco (horrid but wonderful I know). I can see about getting the recipe from her…

  33. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — October 11, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    I tend to go for pie filling over pie crust…and love the idea of a crumble on top!


  34. #
    Natalie — October 11, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    Just a quick question….
    Why if you roll the pie crust out to about 12 inches and then put it in a 9 inch pan…..why do you fold it in half first?
    This may be a very dumb question…..but I’m asking it anyway!!


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

      oh not dumb at all! i should have explained more in the directions – you fold it in half (some people fold it in half again after that) just to make it easy to pick up. then you unfold it once it is in the plate. :)


  35. #
    allie @ the apothecary bee — October 11, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    what could be better than a boozy apple pie? a boozy apple pie with an oatmeal cookie crumble crust!! you have outdone yourself on this one… this pie looks absolutely delicious!! {and i can totally see having some for breakfast. apples? oatmeal? sounds like breakfast to me.}

    i’m making this the instant we get a chance to go apple-picking.


  36. #
    Rebecca — October 11, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    ALL of the words in this title make me happy :) We’re headed to the NC mountains for a weekend of leaf-peeping, hot tubbing and cider drinking, and I now may have to add bourbon apple pie oatmeal cookie crumble eating to the list!


  37. #
    Krystal — October 11, 2013 @ 11:34 am

    I’m not a huge fan of pie crust either, but that oatmeal cookie crumble looks amazing! I think I’m going to use that to crumble to make apple crisp :D


  38. #
    Kelly — October 11, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    Ok this looks incredible. I was thinking of making it but like you, pie and I aren’t friends. Well, I like pie but I haven’t ever made one myself. However….as I read through the post “apple pie a la mode” by destiny’s child came on and now I feel like I must make this pie!


  39. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — October 11, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    Congrats on overcoming your pie crust fears!!!! I have never made pie crust for the same reasons. It didn’t work for me the first time and I have been to scared to try it again. But this filling and the topping are calling my name. I need to sack up and try it again!


  40. #
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — October 11, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Mmm I love the change up with an oatmeal crumble on top of this apple pie, I wanna stick my face in it!


  41. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — October 11, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Every fall I make a slightly different kind of apple pie and pumpkin pie. I’m thinking you just decided this years’ apple ;-)


  42. #
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} — October 11, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    Crumble pies are the best, because I totally agree – I cannot deal with TWO pie crusts! One is scary enough. Love this!


  43. #
    Jamie@Milk 'n' Cookies — October 11, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

    Apple cider and bourbon all in one pie?! That’s too good for words. I didn’t think there were many ways to improve apple pie (love the traditional version), but I think you’ve convinced me otherwise.

    I have had my own struggles with pie — one Thanksgiving I ended up throwing pie crust against my kitchen wall. I think it’s time for me to try again…


  44. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — October 11, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    I haven’t attempted a homemade pie crust yet, but I totally own the store-bought-refrigerated-crusts for sure. :) You definitely owned this one. Love all that oatmeal cookie cumble!


  45. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — October 11, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    Looks like you owned the pie making indeed!


  46. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 11, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    I love the storytelling.
    “convinced over here in this family that it wasn’t the true recipe that she used.” – well isn’t that just…ironic? Murphys law? Whatever it is, it makes me chuckle b/c here you are struggling with a recipe that she probably never even used. That would be me.

    I don’t love pie crust (the taste or making it) and would have gone with a crumble topping too and last year about this time I made an apple pie with a crumble topping for this VERY reason!

    And photographing pies like you said, is HARD. Big, things like that that look good from above and intact, i.e. pies, a big dish of cinn rolls, etc are one thing but then when you have to take it out and try to get other angles, so hard. You rocked it.


  47. #
    Amanda — October 11, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    Pinning this!


  48. #
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — October 11, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

    Gurll, I love pie. LOVE IT. And I love making it. But I’ve found there’s no such thing as a no fail pie crust because it’s always a teeny bit different. Sometimes it shrinks, sometimes it doesn’t. There are just so many factors going into the process, i.e, humidity, water added, how long it rests, etc. that it’s tough for it to be fool-proof. Yours looks delicious! I mean, oatmeal cookie crumble? Yes.


    • Jessica — October 11th, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

      you are SO right. love this!!!


  49. #
    Christina Gathright — October 11, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

    Seriously?! Yes! I need this pie in my life!


  50. #
    Arnell V — October 11, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

    I don’t have or use alcohol so I was wondering if there was something else I could use instead of the Bourbon in the pie. It looks to die for!!



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