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Old-fashioned Apple Butter Pie is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
Don’t let the plain-Jane appearance lull you into thinking this pie tastes bland. This delicious treat packs a real punch of sweet and tart apple intensity that will surprise you with the very first bite! We couldn’t wait to share this recipe and hope you get the chance to try it. It may look like pumpkin pie, but doesn’t taste at all like pumpkin. Our apple butter pie has a pumpkin pie quality however, mostly in the melt-in-your-mouth consistency and the ease in preparation. Bet you’re going to love it 🙂
Easy, old-fashioned pie recipes are often some of the best desserts around.
While this apple butter pie recipe is not an old family favorite handed down through the generations, the basis for this pie certainly is. Apple butter has been around since the Middle Ages. It’s believed that Monasteries kept large apple orchards and needed a way to preserve the harvest. This homely spread became a popular method of preserving apples all around the world. While apple butter typically contains more sugar than applesauce, it also has a much longer shelf life.
Some say that apple butter pie was first invented by Appalachian settlers. Back in the day, when they wanted to bake apple pie but didn’t have fresh apples available, they used what they had on hand. As you’ve probably heard it said, necessity is the mother of invention!
Is apple butter pie really that good?
As mentioned above, it’s practically shocking how much apple flavor is in this pie. Each bite is sweet, creamy, tart and apple-intense! We shared this pie with a group of taste-testers, and each gave a very passionate, positive response. From the flaky, buttery crust, to the moan-worthy filling, this pie gets 5-stars across the board. Knowing how easy and fool-proof it is to make, there are a few folks making this apple butter pie for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin!
Can I make apple butter pie ahead of time?
This pie is easily made ahead a day or two and refrigerated until needed. Remove the pie from the refrigerator an hour before serving for the best results. Since it’s a sweet pie you don’t need to add anything like ice cream on top. Lightly sweetened whipped cream is a nice add-on, but not necessary. I just love whipped cream myself; what can I say?
Does this apple butter pie freeze well?
Absolutely! After you bake this apple butter pie allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Place the entire cooled pie directly in the freezer for a few hours. Once slightly frozen, cover the pie in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight container, or foil. The day before you need the pie, remove the wrapping and allow the pie to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. We’ve even frozen individual slices of this pie with great success. Make ahead apple butter pie for the holidays!
Can you make Apple Butter Pie with store-bought apple butter?
You can make this lovely little pie with homemade, store-bought, farmers market or even gifted apple butter! You’ll need two cups of highly spiced, dark, thick apple butter that is sweetened with some kind of sugar. I recently made 4 cups of homemade slow-cooker apple butter after an apple picking adventure at Carter Mountain Orchard in Virginia. I need to fine tune the recipe before sharing here, but was thrilled with the thick consistency and rich flavor. The ingredients are simple: apple cider, spices, sugar and plenty of fresh picked apples. After ten hours in the slow cooker, we had luscious, flavorful apple butter . Want the recipe?
If using store-bought, I recommend something like Musselman’s Apple Butter made with apples, sugar and spices and NO high fructose corn syrup. If you have a farmers market nearby, you can probably snag a jar or two of home-canned apple butter during the fall. I do not recommend making this pie with apple sauce.
Can you use store-bought pie crust?
I always recommend using our Perfect Pie Crust made in 3-easy steps. But if you’re not into rolling out the dough, you’re welcome to use a pre-made frozen or refrigerated crust for this pie. If you have a little leftover pastry, use it to cut out an apple design crust cookie for garnish so your guests will know it’s not a pumpkin pie.
This recipe makes enough filling for a very full pie so you’ll need a 9-inch deep dish crust. If you can’t fit all the filling into the pie pan, no worries. Simply coat a ramekin or mini-casserole lightly with cooking spray and pour any extra filling into the prepared pan. Bake along with the pie and remove when the center is set. Taste-testing is very important so enjoy!
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PRINT THE RECIPE!
Apple Butter Pie
For the pie crust:
- 1 baked (9-inch) deep-dish pie crust (see notes for link)
- egg white (reserved from the filling) lightly beaten
For the filling:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 large egg, plus 2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for brushing on crust)
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups sweetened, well spiced, apple butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To prepare the pie crust:
- Prepare the pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the dough and crimp the edges as desired. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help control shrinkage during the blind bake.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line the chilled pastry with two sheets of heavy duty foil or parchment paper, then fill with 2 cups dried beans, or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, beans or weights and return the pastry to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven. Brush the inside of the crust with the reserved egg white. Return the crust to the oven and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove the crust from the oven.
- Cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent over browning; set aside.
- Place a foil lined baking sheet in the oven to preheat. This will help the crust stay crisp and avoid a soggy bottom.
To prepare the filling:
- In a medium mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, egg and egg yolks on medium speed until blended and smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk, apple butter, salt and vanilla. Blend on low until incorporated.
- Place the baked pie crust on the foil lined baking sheet in the oven, Carefully pour the filling into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the foil and cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerator until needed.
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia