Skip to Content

What Goes Well with Apple Pie?

Here is a comprehensive at the apple pie, its interesting part of history, its origins and its pairings to fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, herbs, desserts and other dishes.

This is a Thanksgiving spread with an apple pie on the table.

Sweet, warm, and crispy, apple pie is an absolute treat during the Fall or Holiday season. Even though apple pie is already fabulous served on its own, it’s hard to resist adding a little something to give it that extra bit of flavor and flair!

From sweet to savory, crunchy and creamy, there are many exciting and delicious food, spice and beverage items that go exceptionally well with apple pie. Your apple pie pairing will depend on factors such as the occasion, taste preferences, menu plan, and season.

Are you sitting with a gorgeous, freshly baked apple pie and wondering what you can add to jazz it up? Which savory and sweet food items go well with apple pie? And what is the best beverage to serve with this classic dessert?

Read on to discover all of the tasty and rather interesting food, herbs, spices, and beverages that go superbly with a slice of apple pie.

Related: Apple Pie with Crumble Topping Recipe | Flaky Apple Pie Recipe | Apple vs. Pear | Types of Pie Pans | Preserving Fall Apples | Thanksgiving Pies

A Brief History Of Apple Pie

Apples And Apple Pie Aint So American After All

This is a freshly-baked whole apple pie on a rustic setup.

A firm staple at every holiday, this iconic American dessert actually originated in England! One of the earliest recorded recipes for apple pie dates back to the 14th century in The Forme of Cury, a book with a collection of Medieval recipes.

Apple pie quickly became an American favorite when the European settlers introduced the dessert during the colonial period. Did you know that, along with apple pie, apples are not native to America? They were also brought into the country by the English settlers.

‘As American As Apple Pie’

This dessert is adored by Americans, even WWII soldiers declared that they were ready to fight for ‘mom and apple pie!’.

Simple, affordable, and satisfying, apple pie became a symbolic and patriotic dessert in America in the 20th century, and it continues to make an appearance on every table at special occasions and over the holiday season.

Now let’s discover how you can make your apple pie even more exciting and memorable:

What Beverages Go Well With Apple Pie?

It would help if you had something special to sip on that not only tastes amazing but pairs perfectly with your slice of apple pie. Depending on the occasion and time of day, you can try out the following apple pie and beverage pairings:

Spirits

A whole apple pie with wine, spirits and grapes.

Winding down with a smooth glass of bourbon and a delectable apple pie is the perfect ending to a busy day. Dark spirits work particularly well with apple pie. Enjoy on the side, or add a tot or two to your apple mixture before baking.

Bourbon

The vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon match the flavor profile of apple pie perfectly.

Brandy

Brandy’s sweet and oaky flavor makes it the ideal accompaniment to apple pie.

Cointreau

This fresh and zesty orange liqueur will take your apple pie to a whole new level! Mix into a refreshing cocktail or soak the chopped apples in Cointreau for a tangy and decadent filling.

Wine

A glass of wine or bubbly will turn your serving of apple pie into an absolute celebration! 

Fruity, sweet, or buttery wines will enhance the warm spices and buttery crust of the pie:

  • Zinfandel
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Moscato d’Asti
  • Viognier

Light and bubbly carbonated wines give apple pie a fresh and exciting twist:

  • Champagne
  • Prosecco
  • Sparkling wine

Warm Beverages

This is an apple pie and warm coffee breakfast setup.

Cozy up with a slice of apple pie and any of the following warm drinks:

Americano

A sweet and buttery apple pie is delicious when served with a bold and bitter Americano.

Green Tea

Green tea will add depth of flavor without the extra calories! The grassy, slightly bitter taste offsets the richness of apple pie.

Peppermint Tea

The hints of cooling peppermint play nicely with the sugary apple filling. Peppermint tea is also a soothing beverage that aids digestion after a heavy or rich meal.

Vanilla Bean Latte

For ultimate decadence, enjoy your apple pie with a rich and creamy vanilla bean latte. The blend of coffee, vanilla, and milk enhances the rich, buttery notes of the dessert.

What Savory Foods Go Well With Apple Pie?

You wouldn’t think that you could pair something so sweet with salty or savory flavors!

Savory Herbs And Spices That Go With Apple Pie

A slice of apple pie with ice cream and rosemary.

Ginger

With its pungent aroma, a tiny pinch of ground or freshly grated ginger will enhance the warmth and sweetness of the apple pie. Combine into the crust or filling for a peppery kick.

Caraway

Carraway seeds have a slightly bitter taste that contrasts well with an apple pie’s sweet and tart flavors. Blend 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds and add to the pie crust before baking.

Rosemary

The addition of rosemary will infuse your apple pie with an authentically rustic aroma and flavor. Finely dice 1-2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary and mix into the pie crust before baking.

Alternatively, make a simple syrup by heating chopped rosemary, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Combine chopped apples with lemon, cinnamon, and the simple syrup for a delicious pie filling.

Nuts That Go With Apple Pie

This is an apple pie with raisins and walnuts.

Nuts provide an irresistible crunch and earthy flavor to an apple dessert. They can be crushed, chopped, blended, or used whole. A rich source of healthy fats, nuts will elevate your apple pie’s texture, flavor, and creaminess.

The following nuts pair well with apple pie:

Walnuts

Pecans

Almonds

Hazelnuts

Peanuts

You can blend your favorite nuts with organic oats, cinnamon, coconut oil, and dates to form a hearty apple pie crust. Bonus: It’s gluten-free! Crushed nuts can be added to the filling for extra crunch, or caramelized and sprinkled over the pie as a topping.

Cheeses That Go With Apple Pie

This is a slice of apple pie with cottage cheese.

Ricotta Or Cottage Cheese

For a creamy, low-calorie alternative to whipped cream, you can add a dollop of whipped ricotta or plain cottage cheese. Simply drain and whip up your preferred cheese with a generous drizzle of honey. An electric stand or handheld mixer will save you time and create a light and velvety texture.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

This bizarre but brilliant combination originates from England, the birthplace of both apple pie and cheddar cheese! In this case, opposites certainly attract, as the bold, salty flavor of cheddar cheese contrasts the sweet, buttery notes of the apple pie.

Immediately place a thin slice (or more!) of cheddar on top of the pie when it comes out of the oven. The warm pie will slowly melt the cheese – yum! Alternatively, you can add a few spoons of grated cheddar into the crust mixture before baking.

What Sweet Foods Go Well With Apple Pie?

Extra sugar and spice make an apple pie oh so nice!

Ice Cream

This is a slice of apple pie with a scoop of ice cream.

How could we not start this list with ice cream! A cold scoop of ice cream on top of a warm apple pie strikes the perfect balance!                                                  

Ice cream flavors that pair well with apple pie include vanilla, rum and raisin, butter pecan, maple walnut, or salted caramel. Add a dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of chocolate chips or crushed nuts to boost texture and crunch.

Whipped Cream

This is a slice of apple pie with whipped cream.

Another classic apple pie topping, freshly whipped cream will cut through the sweetness and provide a light and fluffy balance to the crispy pie texture. Place a dollop of cream on top or alongside the apple pie. Add a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon to the cream to finish it off.

Plain Greek Yogurt

This is a slice of apple pie with Greek yogurt.

Plain Greek yogurt is another calorie-conscious, low-fat alternative to ice cream or whipped cream. The luscious and velvety consistency of yogurt accentuates the pie’s crumbly texture, while its tangy flavor offsets the sweetness.

Full-fat Greek yogurt is best, as the thick and creamy consistency works well for dessert toppings. Yogurt is extremely versatile: Swirl in some honey, nut butter, coconut flakes or fruit puree for a burst of flavor.

Coconut Yogurt Or Whipped Coconut Cream

Coconut yogurt or cream is an excellent substitute for dairy products. Coconut will give a fresh, tropical twist to your apple pie. Lactose intolerant, vegan or plant-based family members will thank you!

Caramel, Toffee Or Butterscotch Sauce

This is a slice of apple pie with caramel drizzle.

Warm, sticky, and buttery sauce drizzled over a flaky apple pie is absolute bliss!

You can purchase a jar of caramel, toffee, or butterscotch sauce and heat gently in a saucepan before serving. Or better yet, make your own homemade sauce and add a few sea salt flakes to offset the sweetness.

Nut Butter

Peanut or almond butter will make the apple pie extra creamy and indulgent. Combine one or two tablespoons of your preferred nut butter with the remaining ingredients for a rich and buttery crust, or drizzle over the pie as a topping.

Sweet Spices That Go Well With Apple Pie

This is an apple pie with nuts and spices.

The following four spices just scream Fall and the Holidays! These fragrant spices naturally complement the apples and the pie toppings too. Add a sprinkle into the pie filling and crust, or mix into your pie topping (ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt).

Cinnamon

An apple pie – or any apple-based dish – is not complete without cinnamon! The sweet, warm and woody flavor of cinnamon complements the tartness of the apples. You cannot skip out on this timeless duo!

Cardamom

Cardamom has a complex mix of flavors and aromas that will add depth to the apple pie. This spice has a fruity, sweet and spicy aroma with a menthol-like aftertaste. It pairs well with other warm spices such as Cinnamon and nutmeg.

Nutmeg

Like cinnamon, the sweet and earthy notes of nutmeg will bring balance and a unique flavor to your apple pie. This spice is quite potent, so use sparingly!

Mixed Spice

Mixed spice includes a combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and mace. Also known as pudding spice, this blend of sweet spices will elevate the depth and flavor of apple pie.

Sweet Herbs That Go With Apple Pie

This is an apple pie with mint.

Mint

Mint will add color and freshness to a hearty apple pie. The cooling flavor of mint counteracts the sweetness of the apple filling. Finely chop a few mint leaves and mix them into your preferred apple pie topping (ice cream, whipped cream, yogurt, etc.).

Fruits That Go Well With Apple Pie

Tart Fruits

This is an apple pie with berries on the side.

The tartness of cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, and berries round off a sweet dessert beautifully. Combine one or a mixture of these fruits into the apple pie filling or add a few fresh pieces as toppings.

You can also cook and blend the fruit into a puree to drizzle over the pie for a pop of color and flavor.

Dried Fruit

This is a slice of apple pie with raisins.

A few tablespoons of chopped dates, raisins, currants, or prunes will add natural sweetness and texture to the apple pie filling.

Pears And Peaches

This is a baked apple and peach pie.

Pears, peaches, and apples all belong to the Rose family. With very similar textures and flavor profiles, these fragrantly sweet fruits work together flawlessly. You can incorporate equal parts apples and pears/peaches, or a combination of all three into your filling.

Citrus Fruits

The tart and zesty notes of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines spruce up the pie by allowing the crisp, sweet apples to shine through. You can use the juice and zest of citrus fruit in your apple pie filling for a fresh and floral taste experience.

What Meals Go Well With Apple Pie?

This is a glazed salmon with side salad on a plate.

For an incredible and memorable dining experience, you can also plan and prepare a meal that is complemented by apple pie. Here are a few menu ideas for your next batch of apple pie:

  • Pork fillet with orange sauce and pea risotto
  • Sweet potato and pumpkin soup
  • Chicken, walnut and mixed berry salad
  • Glazed salmon, herbed baby potatoes and grilled vegetables
  • Tofu or shrimp Pad Thai with peanut sauce
  • Toasted cheddar cheese and roast beef sandwich with a pear, pecan, and arugula salad

Final Thoughts

For a not so humble apple pie, jazz it up with sweet or savory ingredients, or serve it with a beverage that pairs perfectly with this cozy dessert. With so many fascinating flavor combinations, you can create a unique and mouth-watering apple pie experience every time!

Sources:

Food 52: Apple Pie Origin Story

The Spruce Eats: How to Dress Up Apple Pie