Bourbon Pickled Apples

Apples are probably not the first food you think of when pickling but they can be quite the treat. Pickling apples is a great way to make use of the abundance of apples we enjoy in the northern hemisphere during the fall months. If you have bags of apples left over from apple picking and you have made all the apples pies your family can handle, than it might be time to give pickled apples a try. 

Pickled Apples Ingredients:pickled apples

  • 2 Courtland apples 
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorn medley
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 pint size mason jar


Step 1) Peel and core the apples. Then dice into cubes. If you leave the skin on or cut the pieces too large, the apples tend to get mushy when they pickle.

Step 2) Pour the nutmeg, peppercorns, cinnamon, and sugar into the mason jar. Then place your cubed apples on top of the spice mixture. You will want to fill up each jar about 2/3 of the way with the apples. Add the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. 

Step 3) Combine the vinegar, bourbon, and pickling salt in a pot and place over medium heat stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should boil for a bit to denature the alcohol.

IMG_1522Step 4) Pour brine into the mason jar covering the apples and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled screw the lid on the jar tightly, shake the jars to combine the spices, and place in the refrigerator. As with all pickling recipes the longer you wait the better it tastes but good luck on waiting!



I like to enjoy these intensely flavored apples on their own as a desert but they also work great as a addition to yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Alternatively they can also be a great addition to summer salad that includes apples. I’ve highlighted a recipe below that works great with these tangy sweet apples, just substitute the pickled apples for the Granny Smith.

Chopped Apple Salad


  • 6 apples (Granny Smith) skin left on, core removed and cut into 1/2-inch dice cubes
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 heads endive, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled (recommended: Maytag, Danish, Cabrales)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Or as I mentioned previously pickled apples can be a great topper on some fresh homemade ice cream or yogurt. If you don’t have an traditional ice cream maker, here is a great instructional video on how to make homemade vanilla ice-cream in under 10 minutes: