This is an adult hot apple pie sundae loaded with holiday spice plus a hefty prohibition kick!

apple pie sundae

Todd Parsons Photography at

Walnuts, golden raisins, and Potrero Nuevo Farm heirloom tart-sweet mystery apples (Golden Delicious perhaps, nobody know for sure because the trees are very old) are cooked in a spiked sweet soup with: canela, star anise, rosemary, nutmeg, cardamom, orange peel, brown sugar, and honey – and whiskey.

Yes whiskey and a few bottles of rich barley wine from Cypress Brewing Company. Basically this is a cocktail in disguise as a very innocent dessert. Perfect for wrapping cold hands around while sitting on a hail bail and watching an outdoor movie at Potrero Nuevo Farm.

Hot Apple Pie Sundae:

Shortbread cookies are close in ratio and recipe to a pâte brisée (pie crust). With two major exceptions: there is extra salt and pie crust is often half fat to flour instead of one-third fat to flour. Traditional Scottish shortbread is salty and sweet. This combo is totally underplayed in my humble opinion. In terms of flavor profiles it should go: butter, flour, salt, then sugar even though the actual recipe actually uses a 1:2:3 ratio of sugar: butter: flour and leaves the salt to your discretion. Don’t be afraid to taste the dough and adjust!

The caramel drizzle is malt extract syrup for beer making which I’ve been using a lot lately in different ways. It has become a fantastic secret ingredient adding depth to winter stews, soups, extra maltiness to pizza crust, and as a fun sweet dessert topping.  It has the consistency of honey and a rich sweet malty hop flavor.

There’s nothing pretentious about this dessert. It’s easy. It tastes warm and comforting and it is meant to be held by the hands and warm you inside and out.

Prohibition Hot Apple Pie Sundae


  • Shortbread:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' (powered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt
  • Prohibition Apple Pie Filling:
  • 6 apples, peeled & cored, diced 1/2-inch
  • 1/2 cup golden raisons soaked in whiskey
  • 1 cup walnuts halved, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1 bottle barley wine
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 1 stick canela, or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • Peel from orange (1)
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream & Malt Barely Extract for drizzle

For Shortbread:

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract & salt. Mix in flour cup by cup. Do not overmix. If making shortbread into cookies create logs by patting dough into cylinders and rolling up with saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before cutting into 1/2-inch circles. If desired press each cookie into granulated sugar. Bake on parchment paper at 325˚F until just golden about 15-20 minutes.

For shortbread fingers: pat the stiff dough into an ungreased 9x9-inch pan and press down flat. Pierce with a fork through the dough all over. Bake until just golden brown, about 25-30 minutes and cut into squares while warm.

Shortbread will keep for at least 1 month if stored in an air tight container.

For apple filling:

Heat a large high sided sauté pan or casserole on high. Melt the butter. When its foamy sauté/sear diced apples. Toss in walnuts and raisons. Deglaze the pan with whiskey and add brown sugar and honey to create a pan caramel. Add lemon juice. Then add barley wine, apple cider, and spices and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Serve apple filling in a martini glass or bowl, top with ice cream and shortbread cookie. Drizzle malt extract over top.