3 BEST Apple Pie Moonshine Recipes (according to distillers)

by Karl S | Updated: January 31, 2023

Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe #1: Raw Version

  • Concentrate 300ml / 10 oz
  • Cinnamon 1 small stick
  • Nutmeg 1/2 (cracked)
  • Pepper Corns 2
  • Oak Stave 45g / 1.6 oz
  • Corn Moonshine (60%) 900ml / 30 oz
  • Rum (50% abz) 250ml / 8 oz

Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe #2: “Par Cooked” Version

  • Concentrate 500ml / 17 oz
  • Nutmeg 1/2 (cracked)
  • Cloves 2
  • Brusied Ginger Slice 2
  • Vanilla Bean Seads 1/2
  • Brown Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Corn Moonshine 1.2L / 40 oz
  • Apple Port 300ml / 10 oz

Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe #3: Cooked Version

  • Apple Juice 500ml / 17 oz
  • Concentrate 500ml / 17 oz
  • Apples 4
  • Cinnamon Sticks 3
  • All Spice 6
  • Nutmeg 1/2
  • Brown Sugar 3/4 cup
  • Corn Moonshine 1.2L / 40 oz
  • Adjust to taste with moonshine / apple juice / simple syrup

Bonus “Apple Crumble Moonshine”

  • Fat Washed Corn Moonshine – 650 ml / 22 oz
  • Apple Macerated Corn Moonshine – 750ml / 25 oz
  • Apple juice 1l / 34 oz
  • Concentrate 17oz
  • Cooked apples 5
  • Raw apples 5
  • Cinnamon 3 sticks
  • Nutmeg 3//4
  • Mixed spice 1/4 teaspoon
  • Golden syrup 1/2 cup
  • Brown Sugar 1/2 cup

Today, I’m making four different apple pie moonshine recipes that the international home distilling community has labeled the very best. Hey, Chases! I hope you’re having a kick-ass week. I’m Jesse. This is Still It.

Well, it’s a whole lot of apple pie moonshine. In fact, so much that it’s hard to talk past it. Let me get it out of the way. But here’s the thing guys. I consulted Uncle Google, scoured through home distilling forums all over the place, watched a bunch of YouTube videos on the topic, and, probably most importantly, I asked you guys to submit your very best apple pie moonshine recipes.

I took all of those recipes, assessed them all, and got a little bit geeky with spreadsheets and stuff like that.

It turns out that there are basically three different apple pie recipes that the home distilling community recommends: the fresh uncooked version, a partially cooked infused version, and a straight-up cooked apple version.

I took all these recipes, I got 36 of them in the end, and scoured through them for anything interesting in terms of a different ingredient or technique. Things that I thought were worthy made it into one of these three recipes.

The main goal of going through all of those recipes was to condense them down into those three different categories. Oh, and by the way, I made my own kind of kiwi spin on apple pie moonshine, but we’ll get to that at the end. First, let’s get stuck in with the first recipe, shall we?

This is the uncooked version.

To start, you’re going to need a 2-3 liter jar and freedom units. Keep an eye out for these; they’ll be popping up all through the video. Next, slice up three apples and put them into the jar.

I am using Braeburns, and to be honest, mine are kinda small, so I actually used five. Add one cinnamon stick. This will macerate for a while, guys.

I actually erred on the smaller side rather than the larger side. One half of a nutmeg thingy, whatever they are, cracked, two peppercorns, and around 45 grams of American white oak. One liter of white corn whiskey at 60 ABV, aka our moonshine, and 300 ml of apple juice concentrate.

Pop the lid on and let it macerate for three to seven days. I did it for five days. At that point, you want to strain all the chunky stuff out, pop it back into the same jar, fish the piece of oak out, and pop it back in. Then, add 300 ml of an ester-forward rum.

How does the raw version taste? By far, it is the most whiskey-like of anything on the table, which is good for me. It is juicy and slightly tart, with a raw apple mouth-watering characteristic that the others don’t have as much of.

These spices in here are much more reminiscent of the kind of spices you would get from some barrel treatments. It does not drink or taste like a liqueur, but much more like a sweet-flavored whiskey, not a liqueur.

Regular viewers of the channel may remember that I made an apple brandy not long ago. In the comments section, everyone was telling me to use apple concentrate, but I couldn’t because we can’t get it here in New Zealand.

I was wrong. Restaurant supply stores are not the answer. I found two of them that promised on their website to carry apple juice concentrate, but when I arrived, they said they don’t carry it anymore because no one has ever bought it.

So, anytime in this video where you see me using apple juice concentrate, it’s just apple juice that’s been boiled long enough to reduce it to about a third of its original size. Anyway, should we move on to the next recipe?

But first, I need to say a huge thank you to the patrons. Thank you so much, patrons, for being awesome people who support me regularly. I appreciate it so much. By the way, team, there will be a spreadsheet on the Patreon platform that spells out each of these four recipes and lets you alter the volume you want to make, which will then give you all the ingredients.

Back to the recipe.

Next up is the semi-cooked version.

We will use heat to extract and macerate the flavors from the cooking spices. Add 500ml of apple juice concentrate to a pot over medium heat to get it warming. While that’s happening, gather the spices: half a nutmeg (slightly crushed), two cloves, three cinnamon sticks, two slices of bruised ginger, half a vanilla pod, and three quarters of a cup of brown sugar.

Scrape just the seeds from the vanilla pod and add those along with the other ingredients to the concentrate. Let it come up to a simmer, turn the heat off, put it aside, and let it cool and macerate for at least an hour.

I actually went for two hours, not because I wanted to, but because I got distracted by the kids. Strain it into a 2-liter jar and add 1.2 liters of 60% moonshine or white corn whiskey (at 60 ABV) and 300ml of apple port. You could also use apple brandy if you wanted to.

The Par-Cooked Version Tastes Different: Heating the spices in this version changes them from being like bits of plants to cooking spices, which is more wholesome and comfort food-like. Unlike other recipes, this one does not have any fresh apple, so the apple profile has moved away from being juicy and mouth-watering to being more candy-like. Despite this, there is still a little bit of tartness that makes it feel fruity from the apple concentrate.

Note to the audience: These recipes are geared towards the higher proof, boozier, and less sweet side of things, which matches the preferences of the author. These are the recipes the author settled on after testing and they are comfortable leaving options out of the video since it is so easy to add more apple juice, sugar, or booze.

The Cooked Version:

Taking things a bit further with the cooked spice flavors this time. Half a liter of concentrate and half a liter of apple juice go into the pot, followed by four diced apples. Cook for 25 minutes before adding the spices, which are half a nutmeg and three slightly crushed cinnamon sticks.

Again, but this time we’re using six allspice berries and three quarts of brown sugar. Let it cook for another 25 minutes before letting it cool and macerate by itself. I actually did let it sit for an hour this time before straining it and adding it to a two-liter jar along with 1.2 liters of corn moonshine or whiskey (whatever you want to call it).

This one was a little harder to balance in terms of sugar to alcohol profile, so it’s actually a little short of two liters. That way, you can adjust it to your taste with more booze, apple juice, or sugar syrup.

So, how does the cooked version come across? It’s almost the perfect ramp in terms of spice profile between these three. It’s everything that the first version has become, but even more so. It’s even more baked goods and has a wholesome, “Nan’s house” kind of feel.

I don’t quite know how to sum it up, but it has a more pie-like taste and less maceration. I would actually prefer to drink this, and we’ll get into that more later. But if you want it to straight up taste like apple pie, this might be the way to go.

Throughout the video, I’ve been using 60% ABV corn moonshine or white corn whiskey. This is not just because that’s what I had on hand, but because it lets you reach a relatively decent ABV as a final product.

It’s also very obtainable and doable for any home distiller, regardless of equipment. If you want to follow along with 40% ABV, you can certainly do that, just be aware that the final product’s ABV will be lower.

Growing up in New Zealand, I don’t know if I ever actually ate apple pie.

I don’t think I ever ate apple pie as a kid, but what I did have a lot of was apple crumble. Apple crumble doesn’t have a pie crust; it’s basically just spiced, stewed apples with an oat crumble on top, and it’s absolutely freaking delicious.

The last recipe, the cooked moonshine, almost gave me nostalgic flashbacks of my nan’s apple crumble, but not quite. So, I’ve set it as my own personal quest for this video to see if I could come up with an apple crumble moonshine recipe.

Apple crumble moonshine recipe

Here we go. You’re going to want to start off by dry roasting half a cup of oats in a pan over medium heat. Keep them moving so they don’t burn and cook them until around the two-minute mark, at which point they should be wonderfully fragrant and nutty.

Then, add in a bit of butter and two tablespoons of golden syrup. Keep cooking for about two minutes, making sure you’re moving everything a lot and not letting the sugar or oats burn. After two minutes, take it off the heat and add another big dollop of butter.

As long as the butter melts, you’re good. If it doesn’t, stick it back on the heat for a little bit to make sure it melts well. Let it cool down to around 40°C, at which point you’ll throw it into a one-liter container along with 700 ml of our 60 abv corn moonshine.

Close the container and move on to the apples. I don’t know why in all the recipes I’ve seen, no one seems to mention what kind of apples to use. Maybe it’s given that you use a certain kind.”

I’m done informing, but for me, apple crumble has to be made with Granny Smith apples. So, we’re using Granny Smiths here, along with a little bit of Braeburn for flavor diversity. One liter of corn moonshine goes into a jar with four diced Granny Smith apples and one diced Braeburn.

Close the lid and let it macerate for three to seven days. For me, it was only three days, but to strain the fat-washed moonshine, you want to put it in the freezer overnight, then strain it through a coffee filter. Add 650 mL of the fat-washed moonshine to the jar with 750 mL of the apple-macerated moonshine.

Now, we can get to the cooked part of this recipe. Start with 500 mL of concentrate and add another liter of apple juice to a pot. Get it simmering and add four diced Granny Smiths and one diced Braeburn.

Let it cook for 45 minutes or until the apples are almost falling apart, then add spices: three cinnamon sticks, three quarters of a nutmeg, cracked, one and a half split vanilla pods, and 1/8 teaspoon of mixed spice.

The sweeteners are 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of golden syrup. Cook it for another 20 minutes, then remove from heat, let it cool for at least an hour, strain it, and add 550 mL of it to the booze.

How does the apple crumble moonshine taste?

Now, the first thing, the elephant in the room, to get out of the way is because I cooked it so long, the apples just literally broke down. I could have cooked the apples for a shorter amount of time, but Granny Smiths tend to break up a lot quicker than others, and you get that powdery mouth feel when you bake Granny Smith apples. This gives that to you. I could also filter it again. You have to decide what I’m going to do about that.

It is boozier than anything else on the table, by a small amount, but it has also got more sugar in it than anything else on the table. But because there’s so much Granny Smith in there, it’s actually the tartest on the table as well, which is really interesting. The apple comes through a lot and we have a very interesting juxtaposition – fresh apple and stewed apple, both beautifully Granny Smith.

Switching to golden syrup does definitely change the flavor profile and it nudges it closer to old-school New Zealand baking than using just brown sugar by itself. I like that, in terms of what I’m going for here. That toasted oat thing is definitely there and once again, it really adds to the nostalgia of apple crumble for me, so I’m actually kind of proud of that.

So we’ve reached the point in the video where I’m expecting you’re expecting me to tell you which I prefer and honestly, I don’t know if I can do that, these are all insanely tasty, and it’s kind of crazy to me that I haven’t made apple pie moonshine already.

This is silly. This stuff is so freaking good. I get it. I finally understand it. Yes, you were all right. So, with that being said, I don’t think I can say which is best, but I can tell you what I like. So, in terms of the one that I think I’m going to be reaching for the most, the one that I think I’m going to drink dry first, it’s going to be this guy here, which is ironic because it’s the only one on the table that I think is going to improve with age, and I’m probably going to drink it first.

But, if we’re here to talk about nostalgia, if we’re here to talk about what kind of just gives me that weird dopamine hit from being familiar and bringing back memories, then this, all of this, I will drink any of these as a kind of like an after-dinner aperitif kind of thing.

Apple crumble is one of those things that I used to have at every family party just about. Yeah, and I almost never have it anymore. There’s good memories in here. It’s not nan’s apple crumble, but it’s close.

So, which of these four recipes is closest to your favorite apple pie moonshine?

How do you like your apple pie moonshine?

Stick it in the comments section down below, and if you’re not subscribed yet, hit the subscribe button because that helps me out a bunch.

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