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Our Apple Custard Pie has tender sliced apples in a luscious, creamy vanilla custard filling with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top.
With the holidays right around the corner, I think it’s always a good idea to have a few show-stopper dessert recipes in your back pocket. This incredibly good Apple Custard Pie fits the bill perfectly.
Our creamy and delicious pie is a nice option if you are looking to serve something other than a traditional apple pie. In fact – I think this Apple Custard Pie is more fool-proof, and it’s certainly just as good. (Maybe even better!)
How do you make Apple Custard Pie?
This Apple Custard Pie recipe starts with preparing a homemade pie crust for a deep-dish pie plate. (Store-bought pie crusts will likely be too small to hold all of the filling in this recipe.) But please don’t be intimidated – homemade pie crust is really quite easy, especially if you have a food processor to do most of the mixing.
You’ll pre-bake the crust, then brush the crust with an apricot jam glaze. Next, layer in sliced apples in a circular pattern. We used Granny Smith apples because their tartness is a nice complement and contrast to the sweet (but not too sweet) creamy filling. But, any other sweet-tart and firm baking apple will work well in this recipe.
Once the apples are in place, pour the custard over the fruit – filling the pie plate all the way to the top. Finally, sprinkle a mix of cinnamon and sugar over the top. Then, bake until the apples are cooked through and the custard is firm in the middle of the pie.
Apple Custard Pies are often called French Apple Custard Pies, and some recipes call for a crumb or streusel topping over the apples. You can certainly adapt this recipe by adding an additional topping as well.
A few side notes: We added a couple of extra ‘gourmet’ touches to our Apple Custard Pie recipe including using our favorite apple liquor as a flavoring in the filling. Plus, we mixed the same apple liquor with the apricot jam glaze that is brushed over the crust. You can leave the apple liquor out if you prefer, but it does add wonderful flavor to the pie.
Also – keep in mind that this Apple Custard Pie needs to cool and chill to fully set up before serving. So – leave yourself enough time to prepare, or make this pie a day ahead to chill overnight if possible.
You may like these other custard desserts:
- Vanilla Cream Cheese Custard
- Crustless Coconut Custard Pie
- Poached Pears in Red Wine with Vanilla Custard Sauce
- Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta
- Vanilla Custard Sauce
6 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3–6 tablespoons ice cold water
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons apple liquor
One lemon, see instructions below
2–3 Granny Smith or Jonathan apples, see instructions and tips below
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 whole large eggs
1 tablespoon apple liquor
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Few grinds of fresh nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Seeds from one small scraped vanilla bean, optional
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting after the pie cools, optional
This pie fills a large 10” pie plate. Store-bought crusts will not work for this pie so make the homemade crust as follows: Cut the butter and shortening into pieces and lay out on a dinner place and place in your freezer while you prepare the rest of the dough.
In the bowl of a food processor, place flour, salt and sugar and pulse a few times to mix.
Take the frozen butter and shortening and push the pieces down into the flour. Put the lid back on and pulse several times until the butter and shortening are pea sized.
Add 3 tablespoons of the ice-cold water and pulse a few times to mix. Open the cover and test by squeezing some dough together. If it crumbles, keep on adding a tablespoon of water at a time, pulse for a few seconds then test again.
Once it stays together in your hand, pull off a big piece of plastic wrap and pour the mixture into the center. Then use the plastic wrap sides to push the mixture into a tight ball, then flatten into a round disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for one hour.
While dough is chilling, mix the preserves with the apple liquor in a microwave safe cup or bowl and microwave until hot, about 30 seconds.
Whisk then pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Set this aside.
After the dough chills, roll out on a floured surface to a circle about 12-13 inches wide.
Tear off a large piece of foil that is about 18 x 18 inches and crinkle up then unfurl. This makes the foil more flexible. Press this into the empty 10” pie plate to get the impression of the plate size and remove. Gently set aside foil impression to keep the shape.
Roll the dough up on the rolling pin and roll back out over the pie plate. Gently press into the sides and bottom and let the excess hang over the top. Take a pair of kitchen shears and cut the straggly edges off so that there is a one-inch overhang all the way around.
Take the overhang and fold it up and over then using your thumb and index finger of one hand and the knuckle of your index finger of the other, go around and make a fluted edge. Go back around and clean up any imperfections using the dough you cut away.
Place in the refrigerator for 30 or more minutes to firm up.
After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the pressed piece of foil gently over the dough, letting the foil edges come down around the top to cover the pie dough edges.
Pour pie weights or dry beans into the foil, pushing the weights or beans up to the edge top so the sides don’t collapse while baking.
Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the crust is a light brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.
Shut off oven to save power while you prepare the filling.
Grab foil edges and lift beans out and save for the next time you need them.
Cool the crust completely then brush on the apricot spread, stopping before you reach the top edge. Set this pie shell aside for now.
Take a medium bowl and fill with a few inches of water then squeeze in the whole lemon.
Core and peel the apples and working quickly, slice into thin slices and place in the water. I find it easiest to stand the apple up after coring and peeling and slice down all the way around with a paring knife to make the slices.
Remove apple slices from the water and dry on paper towels then pour into a clean bowl.
Mix the melted butter with the sugar and toss with the apple slices and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the custard by whisking the eggs with the apple liquor. Then whisk in the sugar and flour and whisk out any lumps by stirring vigorously.
Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, optional vanilla seeds and the half and half. Whisk to combine the mixture.
Take the apples and lay them in a decorative pattern into the prepared pie shell then pour over the custard, coming just up to the crust edge.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon and dust the top of the pie.
Place in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F. but remove the pie to cover the edges with a strip or two of foil. Place back in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the custard is set.
Testing by poking the center with a tooth pick to see if it comes out clean is difficult with apples in the custard so we do the jiggle test. We jiggle the dish a bit. If it is not set, the top will look wet and the custard will jiggle a bit. Bake for five more minutes and jiggle again. Our pie took the entire hour and ten minutes.
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Place uncovered pie in the refrigerator until cold then cover with plastic and chill overnight or for at least two more hours.
Cut and serve with optional confectioner’s sugar dusted over the top.
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We used 2 ½ apples and all of the custard fit in the pie plate. If you use three apples, you may have leftover custard. And obviously, the size of the apples will make a difference as well. Our slices were cut from large Granny Smith apples.