Brandy Apple Pie – 3rd Annual Pieathalon

Posted on Jun 8 2016 - 5:00am by RetroRuth

It’s that time of year again!  It’s time for Pieathalon!


Thanks again to Yinzerella from Dinner is Served 1972 for hosting the Pieathalon for the 3rd year in a row!


This is always a fun vintage recipe swap.  In the past I have gotten (sort of) lucky with an interesting Cheese Pie and an Avocado Lime Pie.  Well, maybe not so lucky with that one… Anyway, this year I got lucky again and was assigned Brandy Apple Pie.  Which I totally didn’t deserve, since I had submitted Lemon Potato Pie, which was chosen for Taryn at Retro Food for Modern Times.  Poor Taryn.  I hope it turned out!



Brandy Apple Pie – 3rd Annual Pieathalon
  • 10 cups (4 lbs) pared, cored, thinly sliced tart apples
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 jar (12 oz) apricot preserves
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Cognac or brandy
  • 3 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup golden or seedless raisins
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
  1. In small bowl, combine 2 cups sliced apples with lemon juice; toss lightly. Set aside. Place remaining apples in medium saucepan, along with ¼ cup apricot preserves, ⅓ cup sugar, Cognac, butter, lemon peel, spices, and raisins. Bring to boiling, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes, or just until applesauce consistency. Cool 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. Pour warm applesauce mixture into bottom of unbaked pie shell. Arrange remaining apple slices, attractively, on top. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and apple slices are tender and glazed. Transfer to rack. In small saucepan, heat remaining apricot preserves with rest of sugar, stirring until preserves are melted. Remove from heat. Brush over top of apples. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Anyway, this pie was a bit more time-consuming than the normal apple pie, since it first called for making an applesauce flavored with cognac for the filling.  Not that I’m complaining, since I am always on the lookout for interesting applesauce recipes.  It smelled fantastic, so points for that.



After the applesauce was finished, I got fancy with some sliced apples, and then it was off to bake.


In a very Austrian step (think Sachertorte), an apricot preserve glaze was painted on the finished pie.  Not that this pie needed more sugar, but there it is.


Then on to tasting:




“How does it taste?”

“It just tastes like applesauce jammed in a crust.”

The Verdict: Disappointing

From the Tasting Notes:

This just tasted like applesauce.  Granted, it was good applesauce, but it didn’t really taste like pie.  Maybe if the apples were just tossed with the ingredients and baked like a normal apple pie, it would have been better.  At least it would have been more pie-like.  The applesauce had a great flavor from the raisins, cognac, and nutmeg.  Overall, not bad, but not great either.

Make sure to check out everyone else’s pie fun!

Surly at Vintage Recipe Cards is making Transparent Pie

Susie at Bittersweet Susie is making Star Gazy Pie

John The Hedonizer is making Fidgety Pie

Battenburgbelle is making Fatty Arbuckle’s Delight

S S at A Book of Cookrye is making Chocolate Pie

Taryn at Retro Food For Modern Times is making Lemon Potato Pie

Greg at Recipes4Rebels is making Fluellen’s Pie

Poppy at Grannie Pantries is making Lemon Meringue Pie

Yinzerella at Dinner Is Served 1972 is making Peanut & Beer Pie

Erica at Retro Recipe Attempts made Mai Tai Pie

Kelly at Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en Heidenische kuchen (Heathen Cake)

Silver Screen Suppers making Creme De Cacao Pie

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Poppy June 8, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Your pie is so pretty! You have way more patience than I do…

  2. Yinzerella June 8, 2016 at 11:29 am - Reply

    I am so bummed that it was a disappointment.
    But it looked pretty!!!
    Thanks again for participating. Pieathalon rules!

  3. Buzz June 8, 2016 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Too bad. I thought this was going to be good when we pulled out the card.

  4. Greg June 8, 2016 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Picture perfect! I had such high hopes, right up until the taste test…

  5. Taryn June 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Your pie looks so pretty – that glaze looks gorgeous! No apologies required at all for the lemon potato pie, it was delicious! Taryn xx

  6. Emily June 8, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Yessss, pie time! All of the blogs that participate in this are among my favorite things on the internet. You guys are awesome!

  7. S S June 9, 2016 at 1:19 am - Reply

    The title made this one sound so promising, too! Well, at least you got a nice applesauce recipe out of it.

  8. Silver Screen Suppers June 9, 2016 at 3:59 am - Reply

    Aw shame, from the list of recipes in this year’s Piathalon it looked as though this would be one of the most edible. We know that your taste tester always tells it like it is though…

  9. Kelly June 9, 2016 at 9:33 am - Reply

    It looked pretty, anyway!

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