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Southern Ambrosia Apple Pie

"Apples and Georgia pecans make this pie a winner," reports field editor Carolyn Griffin of Macon.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Whole pecans, toasted, optional


  • Line pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven; remove foil. Cool pastry shell.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, apple juice, butter, cornstarch and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in apples and lemon juice; cook and stir over low heat until apples are crisp-tender, 5-8 minutes. Pour into pastry shell.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg, milk, sugar, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until mixture is set. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For topping, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over pie. Garnish with pecans if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

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  • Linda
    Apr 26, 2020

    I have made this recipe since it originally appeared in the cookbook. Absolutely wonderful. I make it according to the recipe. It turns out perfect every time. I gave this pie to a friend who served to her friend who happened to be a Congressman. He asked her for the recipe for his chef. He said he had pie from all over the world and this pie was his new favorite. This has become my most asked for recipe.

  • delowenstein
    Jul 29, 2014

    I actually recall preparing this recipe when it was first featured in Taste of Home and I decided to prepare it again. I did make adjustments to the recipe: I omitted the salt!I'd used 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained instead of 2 tsp. lemon juice.I did combine the brown sugar, apple juice, butter and cornstarch. I think for me, my best bet is to mix the cornstarch with the brown sugar, then in saucepan, combine the apple juice and butter; then add the brown sugar and cornstarch; bringing to a boil and stirring just until smooth and thickened. I then did add the apples and lemon juice and cooked 5 to 8 minutes over low heat until apples are crisp-tender. I poured apple filling into baked shell.I then prepared the coconut filling and I baked 40 minutes. For cream topping, I used 3/4 cup chopped walnuts in place of pecans & did NOT toast nuts! I used 1 tsp. almond extract in topping mixture, rather than the vanilla extract to have a flavor variety! I used a Pie Partner type of pie shell weight to bake my pie shell! I did bake it 5 minutes at 450o F., and then I baked the apple and coconut fillings for 40 minutes at 350o F. I prepared the cream topping, but decided to use 1/2 of the topping on the ambrosia filling and the rest for topping another TOH pie!Thank you, Carolyn Griffin for sharing your recipe with Taste of Home!

  • beckylabine
    Sep 9, 2010

    This pie is a wonderful take on apple pie!!! We have an apple tree in our back yard giving us a lot of apples every year. Therfore getting tired of the same things every year I decided to try this recipe out, so glad that I did it is amazing my whole family loves it including my picky 4 year old. I have been asked for the recipe already several times every time I bring it somewhere the recipe is wanted...

  • ssla01
    Jun 30, 2010

    This is a wonderful take on apple pie. The topping is unbelievable! I have made it on multiple occasions. Five star desert!

  • jessicastant
    Dec 18, 2009

    This pie is so good. I'm not an apple pie fan but, I could eat a lot of this. I have handed this recipe out to several people. I have already made it 3 times.

  • GinSopJos
    Oct 24, 2008

    No comment left

  • meowzer
    Oct 22, 2006

    No comment left

  • jane
    Oct 7, 2006

    No comment left