Apple pie. Perfect apple pie. We all crave it. We all have a a favorite recipe. Ah, but sometimes favorites can change. If Suzi and I were going to make apple pie on spur of the moment, then we'd start by getting apples, naturally, and then the jalapenos. I've posted this recipe before and now I offer it again for your Thanksgiving consideration. It is hot, not too hot, but gee that apple pie is already warm from the cinnamon and all the jalapeno does here is deepen and extend that heat. The consequences are lovely to smell, to taste, to savor, to remember, and surely to return to over and over. We've made this pie a dozen times, shared it with lots of people, and — happily — given the recipe to many people. Please enjoy. 

Oh, don't use Scotch Bonnet. Excess is excessive.


Apple and Jalapeno Tailgate Pie

Yield: 1 Pie


The Crust:

  • 1 Recipe Best Butter Pie Pastry, Refrigerated

The Pie Filling:

  • 8 Cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith or other tart, juicy apples
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ Cup jalapeno jelly, stirred to loosen
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno peppers [optional, check  the intensity of you jelly first]

The Cornmeal Streusel Topping:

  • ¾ Cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ Cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • ¾Cup sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut in ¼-inch pieces


If you haven’t already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pasty into a 13 ¼-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Center it, then peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry down into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the edge into an upstanding ridge. Place the pie shell in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling, mix the apples, sugar, and lemon juice together in a large mixing bowl. Add the jalapeno jelly and mix again. Stir in the cinnamon and flour. Mix in the jalapeno peppers, if using. Set the filling aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 400° F.

Turn the filling into the frozen pie shell. Smooth the filling with your hands to even it out. Place the pie on a large dark baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and bake on the center oven rack for 30 minutes.

While the pie backs, make the toping. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt n a food processor and pulse several times to mix.  Remove the lid and scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine repeatedly, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Empty the crumbs into a large mixing bowl and rub them between your fingers to make large, buttery crumbs. Refrigerate.

After 30 minutes, remove the pie from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F. Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie, spreading them evenly over the surface with your hands. Tamp them down lightly. Put the pie on the baking sheet back in the oven and bake until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, an additional 30 minutes. Loosely cover the pie with tented aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes of backing if the top starts to get too brown.

Transfer the pie to a cool rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Best Butter Pie Pastry

Yield: 1 9” Pie Shell


  • 1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup (1 stick) butter cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼- inch pieces
  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 3Tablespoons cold water


Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine repeatedly — 6 or 7 one-second bursts — until the butter is broken in a very small pieces.

Place the egg yolk in a 1-cup glass measure and add just enough of the water to equal ¼ cup liquid. Using a fork, blend the water and yolk. Remove the lid of the processor and pour the liquid over the entire surface of the dry ingredients. Don’t, in other words, pour it into one spot. Pulse the machine again, in short bursts, until the pastry starts to form large clumps. Don’t over process, or the butter will start to melt rather than stay in small pieces. Tear off a sheet of plastic wrap about 14 inches long and place it nearly.

Empty the crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, pack the dough as you would a snowball. Knead the dough 2 to 3 times, right in the bowl. Put the dough in the center of the plastic wrap and flatten it into a disk about ¾ inch thick. The edges will probably crack slightly; just pinch and mold them back into a smooth disk. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

To mix by hand: combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients and cut them in, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, until the butter is broken into very fine pieces; the mixture will not be quite as fine as with the processor. Blend the yolk and water as directed above. Sprinkle about half of the liquid over the flour, mixing it in with a fork. Life the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl and press down on the down stroke. Add the remaining liquid a little at a time until the dough coheres. You may need to 1 to 2 teaspoons more water.


Source: Apple Pie Perfect by Ken Haedrich