Since the rumpus began, Disney has been sprinkling pixie dust over our lives through their #DisneyMagicMoments.
One of the ways that pixie dust is flying is through recipes from the Disney Parks and properties. Released through D23, the official Disney Fan Club, we’ve seen recipes for such delicacies as Hush Puppies from Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, a Brave inspired Scotch egg, and the Turkey Pot Pie from Cinderella’s Royal Table.
But the recipe that caught my eye was the Apple Pie from Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This past May, Whispering Canyon Cafe celebrated their 25th anniversary, so people must really like this pie. Among other things.
To celebrate the Fourth of July, I decided to give this pie a try! I mean, what’s an Independence Day without apple pie, am I right?
While I didn’t have the exact same ingredients or some of the cooking appliances (who amongst us owns a steamer?), I’m a ragtag, plucky kind of gal and I don’t mind modifying a recipe. Disney states: “This recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version.” So, okay! It was always going to taste a little different. I’m game if you are.
Before we get into the baking of it all: This recipe is the property of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. I make no claims to authorship. Thank you to Disney, for making these recipes available.
I am going to walk through my trial and error of making this pie, if that’s your thing. If you are not here for my wordy shenanigans and just want to see the recipe, then you should check it out at D23. Again, this is not my recipe and I make no claims to it. I’m just a girl with some apples and a dream, ready to do her best.
Let’s make a pie!
Okay, so Disney says for the PIE CRUST we need:
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
I am off to a great start because I am ignoring all of this! I had a spare pie crust in my freezer (I have no idea from what or when) and I figured this was as good a time as any to use it. Next!
Regarding APPLES, Disney says we need:
- 1 cup water
- 6 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
I don’t have Granny Smith apples, but I do have Pink Lady apples so that’ll work. You’ll never be able to tell when they’re peeled. ;)
I also don’t have apple pie spice (I’m really batting 100 here), but I can make my own from cinnamon, sugar, ginger, and nutmeg. Rock and roll!
On to the APPLE PIE BATTER. This is the component that makes this apple pie stand out:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 egg
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
I have all of these! Let’s get baking.
The first step is the pie crust and I’m not doing that, so let’s skip right to the apples.
FOR PIE CRUST:
- Combine butter, shortening, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed until crumbly.
- Add milk and mix until incorporated.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll to 1/4-inch thickness and place in 9-inch pie plate.
- Set aside.
- Bring water to simmer in a large pot.
- Place apples in a steamer basket and add to pot. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from water.
- Cool to room temperature and toss with apple pie spice.
Alright, I brought one cup of water to simmer in a large pot. I don’t have a steamer, so I added my apples to a colander.
I let them steam for 10 minutes. And absolutely nothing happened. I ate an apple slice. I waited another five minutes. Nothing. My kingdom for a steamer. Time to improvise!
I dropped the apples in water and they were soft within ten minutes. I drained them in the colander and let them cool while I worked on….
FOR APPLE PIE BATTER:
- Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Add eggs and mix until just incorporated.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Slowly add to mixer and beat on medium speed until combined.
- Add cream and mix until smooth.
- Set aside until ready to bake.
The directions were all fairly straightforward. I have a stand mixer, but frankly, didn’t feel like messing with it after my trials with the apple steaming. So I just did it by hand and things seemed to work well enough.
I let that sit while I tossed the apples with my homemade apple pie spice. I did this spice mix on the fly: 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. This is really a “to taste” situation.
FOR APPLE PIE:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place 1/2 cup apple pie batter on top of pie crust, spread until smooth.
- Top with apples and remaining apple pie batter.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20 more minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool to room temperature before serving.
This is when I started to doubt my choice of a pre-made pie crust. This pie batter, while lovely, is THICK. My freezer pie crust seemed weak and ill equipped to support this batter and the apples. But we made it this far, so we had to keep going.
I nestled all the apples in and topped with the remaining batter, smoothing it.
Covering with foil was a little trickier because the texture of the pie batter. Lesson learned: tent your foil as much as you can. Like, seriously. Tent it high.
I put my heavy little pie in the oven for 40 minutes. Pulled it out and took off the foil. Only a little of my pie top stuck to my under tented foil, so I call that a win. Pie goes back in the oven.
After another 20 minutes, the pie is a beautiful golden brown and ready to come out of the oven.
And it was DELICIOUS.
While I have no doubts the Whispering Canyon version is better, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this pie. It was a fun baking activity to do with my littles and relatively easy, once I made a few adjustments.
Next time, I will definitely make the crust from the recipe and probably add a smidge of maple syrup to the apples. Maybe even muster up the energy to go full stand mixer.
Have you tried the apple pie from Whispering Canyon Cafe? Have you made this pie? Do you own a steamer? Tell me all about it in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!