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Shortbread Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of the most-loved pies around. But, add some crumble topping and it’s even more delicious. This recipe for shortbread apple does all that and goes one step further with a rich shortbread crust. Honestly this pie is in a whole other league of delicious. It’s the perfect show-stopping dessert for gatherings as well.

To begin making this recipe you’ll need to start on the crust. Like anything shortbread the butter for the crust needs to be cubed and it needs to be cold. This crust is a little extra special since there’s lemon zest in it to give some extra zing.

Shortbread Apple Pie

You handle this crust as little as possible, yet it does need to be pressed into a 9″ springform baking pan. It also needs a blind bake to ensure a crispy texture. Once this is out of the oven brush it with an egg wash before making the filling. This will act as a bit of sealant so that the moisture from the filling doesn’t change the texture of the crust too much.

The filling is a mixture of chopped apples, apple butter, and a yummy blend of apple pie spices. Lemon juice on the apples helps keep them from turning brown, but also adds a little bit of citrus flavor.

Shortbread Apple Pie

Let’s talk about the topping. This gorgeous crumble topping is simple to make, but it adds a lot of flavor and sweetness to the pie. Since the filling isn’t actually all that sweet, this topping really completes this dessert.

Once everything is layered you’re ready to bake. when it’s out of the oven you’ll need to let this pie cool completely before removing it from the springform pan. It’s always a hold your breath moment doing this, but greasing it beforehand is going to help, as does the parchment paper. Think of it as an insurance policy on your dessert- certainly worth spending a little extra time on.

Shortbread Apple Pie

The last step is to dust some powdered sugar over the top of the pie before cutting. You can serve this with some whipped cream if you’d like, but it’s honestly perfectly wonderful all on its own. For a really special take on apple pie this shortbread version is a winner.

Serves 8

30m prep time

55m cook time

Rated 3.8 out of 5
Rated by 4 reviewers

Allergens: Gluten, Milk, Eggs

For the crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon’s worth)
  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp milk
For the filling:
  • 3 tart or baking apples like Granny Smith or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 Tbsp apple butter
For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and lemon zest for crust. Add in vanilla and then cut in butter with pastry knife or two forks. If temperature rises put mixture into fridge for a few minutes to keep butter cold. Do not over-mix. Mixture should be sandy.
  2. Press dough into a 9” greased springform pan that’s been lined with parchment paper, taking the dough up the sides generously to hold the filling. Crust should be about 1/4” thick in all areas.
  3. Bake for 15-20 or until just barely beginning to brown. Cover with foil if edges are browning too quickly. Remove from oven. Combine milk and egg and milk. Brush this mixture over the baked crust. Set aside to cool. Reduce heat to 350˚F.
  4. In a medium bowl combine apples with lemon juice to stop them browning. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and stir well.
  5. Combine the flour and granulated sugar for the topping. Stir in butter until sandy mixture forms.
  6. Add filling to pie crust followed by the crumb topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before attempting to remove from springform pan. Sprinkle confectioners sugar over the top as the final topping.

Recipe adapted from Rhode Fare.

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