Appalachian Spiced Apple Pie-stack

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Even though my Mom’s ancestors settled Kentucky before Daniel Boone and had a taste for sugar and spice, I didn’t meet or eat a Kentucky Appalachian stack cake until grown and on my own. Gingerbread-y dense and layered with apples, the cake’s flavors wowed me. I love the recipe’s origins as a community-baked wedding cake, with each family bringing one of the cake’s six to 12 layers along with them to the party. But, historic recipes suggest it takes about 3 hours to make the cake if you’re doing the whole thing on your own. So this is a cheater, honing in on the spiced dried apples, but using leftover pie dough circles to make little individual stack pies, instead of a stack cake. (I promise to try doing this with gingerbread rounds at some point…)

Makes 4, individual-sized pie-stacks

Pie circle Ingredients

  • 1 roll-and-bake ready made pie crust ( or recipe for your own favorite pie crust)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Spiced Apple Filling Ingredients

  • 1 six-ounce package dried apples
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup frozen apple-juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground Jamaican allspice
  • pinch cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream for garnish


  1. Make Pie Circles: Preheat oven to 450. Roll out crust. Cut into 12, 3-inch circles. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Prick each circle several times with the tines of a fork. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on each pastry circle. Bake for 5 minutes until golden. Remove to a cooling rack. Careful–they’re delicate
  2. Make Filling: Chop dried apples. Place in microwaveable bowl with 2 cups water and 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate. Cover bowl and microwave steam for 10 minutes. Scoop apple mixture and juice into sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Gradually add the remaining cup of water as the liquids reduce and the apples absorb the water. Cook until apples are soft and liquid has cooked down considerably; about 40 minutes. Sift together the spices and sugar and stir into the cooked apples. Stir and cook about 10 minutes more until liquid has reduced to a small amount of syrup. Removed spiced apples from heat. Set aside.
  3. Assemble pie stacks: On each serving plate, place a round of pastry. Spoon some apple filling onto each round. Top each with another round of pastry. Spoon on more apple filling. Top with third pastry round. Spoon a small dollop of whipped cream on top. Serve.

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