Southern Ambrosia Apple Pie Recipe
Southern Ambrosia Apple Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Southern Ambrosia Apple Pie Recipe

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"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
Test Kitchen Approved
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 egg
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flaked 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

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 664 calories, 37 g fat (19 g saturated fat), 77 mg cholesterol, 336 mg sodium, 77 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein.


  1. Line pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven; remove foil. Cool pastry shell.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Southern Ambrosia Apple Pie in Taste of Home October/November 1996, p67

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Reviewed 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!"

Reviewed 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..."

Reviewed 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!"

Reviewed 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."

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