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Apple pie hack: Bourbon and brown butter upgrade a traditional dessert

Bourbon and brown butter with ice cream? Well, why not when it’s in these single-serving apple pies?

What I love about these mini pies, in addition to everything, is the barely there, rustic taste of bourbon. And the brown butter adds a slightly rich nutty flavor. All in all, these apple pie gems are just wonderful.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To quicken up this recipe a bit, I used premade pie crusts and lined small, oven-safe ramekins on the inside with pie crust too, along with the flaky top crust.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

I like to make extra apple pie filling so that just before serving, when the pies are warm, I take off the top crusts, lay them on the side of the serving dishes and top off the pies with more warm filling.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Then I add vanilla ice cream on top. The melted vanilla ice cream on the inside and outside of these pies is the most perfect combination and tastes ever so amazingly good.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

I also like to top the ice cream with a couple of pinches of ground cinnamon for good measure. You’ll enjoy every bite.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Bourbon and brown butter mini apple pies recipe

Serves 3

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Inactive time: 15 minutes | Total time: 1 hour


  • 1 (2 count, 14.1 ounce) package refrigerated premade pie crusts, unrolled
  • 4 medium-size apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (Fuji, Granny Smith, Pippin or Golden Delicious apples)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 dashes salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for the pie)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or canola oil (for coating the inside of the ramekins)
  • Vanilla ice cream (for pie à la mode)
  • 6 pinches cinnamon, for garnish
  • 3 ovenproof, single serving-size ramekins


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat a small skillet on low to medium heat, and add the butter. Constantly stir the butter as it’s cooking.
  3. Continue cooking the butter until it starts to turn a golden color. Turn off the heat, and add the bourbon. Stir together, and set aside.
  4. Lightly grease the insides of the ramekins with coconut oil.
  5. To each ramekin, add a bottom layer of pie crust with about 1/2 inch of excess dough over the sides. Set aside.
  6. To a large bowl, add the apples and lemon juice. With your hands or a large spoon, mix so that the apples are coated with lemon juice.
  7. Add the bourbon mixture to the apples, and mix together to coat the apples. Set aside for a moment.
  8. To a medium-size bowl, add the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir all the ingredients together, and add to the large bowl with the apples. Mix together to coat the apples.
  9. Fill each ramekin with apples as high as they will pile without falling over. Put the leftover apples in a small, ovenproof baking pan or casserole dish. This pie filling will be used when serving the pies that are in the ramekins.
  10. Top each ramekin with a circular piece of pie dough that is about 1/2 inch wider than the diameter of the ramekin.
  11. With the excess dough hanging over the sides, form the edge of the crust.
  12. Crimp the edges together by lightly pressing on them with the back side of a fork.
  13. Use a piece of the remaining pie crust to top the apples in the baking pan.
  14. Add slits to the top of the pie crusts, including the one in the baking pan.
  15. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and half-and-half. Brush the egg mixture on top of the pie crusts (to add color and shine).
  16. Set the ramekins and baking dish on a cookie sheet.
  17. Bake until the crust turns a golden color (about 20 to 25 minutes).
  18. Remove from the oven, and let cool just long enough so that the pies are still warm before serving (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  19. When serving, cut a small piece of crust off the top of the pie to expose the inside, and spoon the extra apple filling mixture (that was cooked in the baking dish) on top. Top with ice cream, and garnish with a couple of pinches of cinnamon for each serving.

More fun apple pie recipes

Hot apple pie rolls
Mini apple pie ice cream sandwiches
Apple pie cupcakes

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