When autumn rolls around, some people (the internet would have you believe only 20-year-old white girls) look forward to pumpkin-flavored everything. While I love their salty, crunchy seeds, pumpkins — even baked into a pie — don’t do much for me.
Instead I am all about apple cider. I love it in any form, freshly pressed, warm and spiced, made into caramels or mixed with booze. When the leaves start to turn, you can bet my fridge is full of cider — it’s as much of a guarantee as death and taxes.
And while I tend to mostly enjoy it straight up and ice cold, I’m more than willing to experiment with it. So when my co-workers decided to have a staff pumpkin carving party yesterday, I had the perfect sweet treat in mind to contribute, this apple cider cream pie.
I have been wanting to make this pie since I first came across the recipe in the Nov. 2011 issue of Food & Wine. The only reason I hadn’t attempted it before is because pie making is not my forte. Unlike my grandmother who can whip up a pie dough so good my mom eats it raw, I am a novice — and a nervous novice at that, which means a lot of second guessing and stressing out.
But for the sake of apple cider, I decided to go for it. Four hours, one new ceramic pie pan and two pie crusts later (it’s a long story, but I had some…issues…this pie should take a normal person 45 minutes plus baking and cooling), I had a wow-worthy dessert.
The custardy center is a combination of reduced apple cider, sugar, eggs and sour cream and it is luscious. Tangy, creamy and rich, it’s the perfect “tastes like fall” pie filling and a nice alternative to the basic apple pie. And the crust actually turned out pretty great — flakey, buttery and tender.
Once it was topped with cinnamon-laced whipped cream, this beauty was almost too pretty to eat.