Pies & Tarts

Authentic Irish Apple Amber Pie

4.82 from 16 votes
Unlike an American apple pie, my traditional Irish Apple Amber recipe is an open-faced pie with more of an applesauce filling and topped with toasted meringue.
A full Irish Apple Amber from my recipe, topped with toasted meringue.

Hi Bold Bakers!

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, you might have started planning your menu to celebrate. You probably want to highlight popular Irish foods, like Irish Soda Bread (that one’s my mum’s recipe!), maybe you’re making shepherd’s pie for the main course. But has the most crucial question been answered? What are we doing for dessert?

Irish Apple Amber is a traditional Irish dessert that is simple and delicious—and it certainly isn’t like an American apple pie! Instead of big pieces of sugary baked down apples all tucked in pie crust, Irish apple amber is an open-faced pie, filled with a soft, chunky applesauce-like filling, topped with sweet, fluffy meringue.

Crabapples are Ireland’s only native apple—but in the 1500s, other apples were introduced. That’s quite a while before America even officially became a nation. Maybe we should be saying, “As Irish as Irish Apple Amber Pie?” 

This recipe is a part of my Bold Baking Worldwide project! I’m bringing you recipes from around the world, every Monday at 8:30am PT. Check out some of these other recipes: Irish Apple Crumble, Gooey Butter Cake, and Sourdough English Muffins.

Irish Apple Amber topped with meringue.

The History Of Irish Apple Amber

When you think of Ireland, you probably think the most essential produce on the Emerald Isle is potatoes, but apples actually have played an important role in our history! While crabapples have always grown in Ireland, it was hard to find any other fruit that could handle the climate. But it turns out, a variety of apples that were introduced to Ireland grew very well!

In fact, besides ridding Ireland of snakes, it is said that St. Patrick himself planted apple trees!

Apples became a reliable part of the people of Ireland’s diets, and they used them in plenty of ways, from stewing to fermenting into cider. And, of course, desserts! 

It isn’t clear when Irish Apple Amber was made, but if you have apples, some sugar, and some eggs, I’m sure it wasn’t hard for our ancestors to figure something out! And if you’re looking for more Irish recipes, you’ve come to the right place — I am Irish, after all

My Irish Apple Amber recipe with a slice removed.

How To Make Irish Apple Amber

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day (or any day!) by finishing off a lovely meal with this perfect dessert! Here is how you make Irish Apple Amber (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). 
  2. Roll out the pie crust and line your 9-inch (23cm) pie tin with it; then, bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling: In a saucepan, combine the grated apples and water and cook over medium-low heat for around 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender.
  4. Remove the apples from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice.
  5. Fill the partially baked crust with the apple mixture, then bake for around 30 minutes or more, or until the filling is set. Let the pie cool completely.
  6. Once completely cooled, make the meringue topping: in the top of a double boiler, combine the egg white, sugar, and cream of tartar and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar has fully melted.
  7. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture with an electric mixer until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  8. Dollop and swirl the meringue on top of the pie. Toast the top of the meringue with a butane kitchen torch. If you don’t have a butane kitchen torch at home (I know it’s not something everyone just has around!), you can put it under the broiler for a minute or two. Be sure you watch it very carefully, as it can burn quickly!

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Irish Apple Amber

  • Use a good cooking apple, like Granny Smith or Bramley apples, because they cook down the best.
  • If you prefer spiced apples, add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to the apples while you are cooking them.
  • Instead of meringue, you can top this pie with homemade whipped cream.
  • Make sure you are stirring the egg whites for the meringue constantly while it is heating, so they don’t curdle.
  • For a boozy, Irish twist, replace the water in the filling with 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey!
  • Use my pie crust for this pie or a good quality store-bought one!  

A slice of Irish Apple Amber, topped with meringue, served on a plate with a fork.

How Do I Store Irish Apple Amber?

The pie can be stored, without the meringue topping, loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Once the meringue topping has been placed on the pie, it’s best served that day. However, you can still store it in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Make More Irish Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Irish Apple Amber Recipe

4.82 from 16 votes
My Authentic Irish Apple Amber recipe is an incredible open-faced pie with more of an applesauce filling and topped with a toasted meringue.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 pie
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
My Authentic Irish Apple Amber recipe is an incredible open-faced pie with more of an applesauce filling and topped with a toasted meringue.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 pie

Ingredients

For the Pie Filling:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 4 granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and grated)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup (2 ½ oz/71g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Meringue Topping:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup (5oz/142g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Roll out the pie crust and line a 9-inch (23cm) pie tin with it. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, prepare the filling: In a saucepan, combine the apples and water and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender.
  • Remove the apples from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Fill the partially baked crust with the apple mixture and bake for about 30 more minutes, or until the filling is set. Let cool completely.
  • Once the pie is completely cool, make the meringue topping: in the top of a double boiler, combine the egg white, sugar, and cream of tartar and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted.
  • Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until stiff, glossy peaks are formed.
  • Dollop and swirl the meringue topping on the pie. Toast the top with a butane kitchen torch. (If you don’t have a torch, you can place the pie under the broiler for a minute or two, but watch it very carefully as it can burn very quickly.)
  • This pie can be stored without the topping, loosely covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days. Once the meringue topping has been placed on the pie, it is best served the day it is made, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day.

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bold baker
bold baker
6 months ago

i highly recommend baking this epic pie for people who are beginners in baking. The texture of the apples is half way between a traditional apple pie and a custard pie. It is divine. I also added a little cinnamon to further enhance the flavour. It is a brilliant pie.

Mila
Mila
6 months ago

Are the egg white cooked.? (Safe)

Shreeya Sawhney
6 months ago

I’m thnking of mixing the traditional American way on this pie, by not cooking the apples instead covering them in lemon juice and drawing out moisture then doing everything the same way! Would you recommend adding some nutmeg or only cinnamon? Homemade vanilla ice cream instead of whipped cream/meringue would be good too!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!