This is a modern interpretation from the 18th and 19th centuries that docents at the Historic James K. Polk House frequently bake, from The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook.

The original bakers would have soaked the apples in whiskey or brandy and added sugar and spices — and maybe some lemon — and baked the pie in a Dutch oven.

Whiskey Apple Pie

  • 12 ounces dried apples
  • 1 cup whiskey or applejack
  • 1 cup cider
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • Grating of nutmeg, to taste
  • Unbaked pastry shell
  • Butter for dotting

Soak dried apples in whiskey or applejack and cider for several hours, or overnight. If apples are still quite dry, add enough cider to barely cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat to soften. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to apples and juice.

Place mixture in the pastry shell and dot with butter.

Turn pastry inward on top of the apples, like a tart, and bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes.

— from The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook, a modern interpretation of a 18th/19th century recipe

Submitted by Audrey Mellichamp, a historic open hearth cook, for the Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley, at the President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Pineville.

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