Apple custard pie is a delicious variation of classic apple pie. The homemade pie shell is delicate and crisp, and the custard is rich, creamy, and light. The layer of apple is sweet and effortlessly comforting. This recipe is easy to make and can be accomplished in stages, but ultimately makeable in the morning or afternoon.
Optional Sauces or Sides
While the Apple Custard Pie is delicious on its own, I have on occasion served it with Creme Anglaise and, or Buffalo Trace Double Vanilla Ice Cream.
Beverage pairings: Loads of hot coffee, tea, or a dram of Calvados brandy.
Apple Custard Pie
- 8" or 9" springform pan or deep pie dish
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- cutting board
- steamer basket/insert for pot
- measuring cups and spoons
- apple peeler/corer (optional)
- 4 tbsp butter, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup shortening, vegetable
- 1¾ cup flour, all-purpose
- 4 tsp sugar, granulated
- ⅛ tsp salt, kosher
- ⅓ cup milk, 2% butterfat
- 6 whole apples, Granny Smith (tart) (Pink Ladies, Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, Empire, and Cortland apples work as well.)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp apple spice Please see the recipe on this blog.
Apple Pie Batter
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- ⅓ cup almonds, blanched, sliced, and toasted
- ¼ cup sugar, powdered
Prepare the Oven and Springform Pan
- Preheat the oven to (350˚F or 75˚C). Set a rack in the oven to the lowest setting.
- Spray an (8-inch or 20 cm) springform pan (with at least 2-inch tall sides) with Baker's Joy or vegetable spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Reserve
Prepare the Almonds(optional)
- Place almonds in a small baking pan. Spread to a single layer -Bake for 15 minutes or until just beginning to turn pale golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool (these are for the top of the cake). Reserve
Prepare the Pie Dough
- Cut the butter for the pie dough and place it into the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
- Measure out the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) and place them into the work bowl of a stand mixer. Next, measure out the lard or shortening. Add the lard/shortening to the flour mix, and then add the frozen butter chunks.
- Start the mixer (using the paddle attachment) on low and gradually increase the speed. Stop mixing when the flour and fat are thoroughly mixed. The flour will look like clumpy sand. (see image above)
- Once the flour has a sandy flour consistency, add the cold milk and start the mixer again on low. The mixture will come together and form a pie dough very quickly for 1-2 minutes. Form the pie dough, stop the mixer. DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Remove the pie dough and form it into a flat disk over the plastic wrap. Wrap the pie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the Apples
- To prepare the apples to start by placing a basket steamer in a medium pot with a lid. To this, add 1 cup of water and place over low heat.
- While the steamer is heating up, peel, core, and slice the apples. (If you don't have a mechanical peeler add a splash of lemon juice to the container of prepped apples to keep them from oxidizing.)
- Add the prepared apples to the basket steamer, turn the heat to medium to medium-high, and place them on the lid. Steam the apples for 10 minutes.
- After the apples have steamed, remove them from the steamer basket to another bowl and allow them to cool. Once the apples are cold, add the apple pie spice. Gently fold the apple pie spice into the steamed apples and Reserve.
- (OPTIONAL) Reserve the cooking liquid from under the steamed apples. To this, add a tablespoon of sugar and reduce this liquid to a syrup. Reserve
Make the Custard Filling
- To make the custard filling, start by mixing the softened butter and sugar. Next, add the cracked eggs one at a time. Mix the first egg for 1-2 minutes before adding the second.
- Next, once the eggs have been incorporated into the butter/sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt). Set the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed to medium. Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape the sides of the work bowl using a rubber spatula. Make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
- Finally, add the wet ingredients (heavy cream and vanilla extract) and mix until incorporated. Reserve.
Rolling out the Pie Dough
- On the work surface, you will be rolling the pie dough, placing a large sheet of plastic wrap. Next, place the rested dough in the center and cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap.
- Starting in the center of the dough, push down lightly on the rolling pin and push outward. Then, return the dough to the center of the pie dough and lightly push it in the opposite direction. Next, turn the dough 90° and repeat the process until the dough is approximately 9 inches round and (1/4 inches or 6.4mm) thick.
Add the Pie Dough to the Prepared Springform Pan
- Add the rolled-out pie dough to the reserved, prepared springform pan. Gently, add the dough to the center of the pan first and allow the pie dough to the center. Next, slowly work the dough from the center to the edges of the pan. Next, press the pie dough up the sides of the pan.
Assembling the Apple Custard Pie
- To the springform pan with the pie dough and 1½-2 cups of the custard batter and smooth out a layer. Next, add all of the reserved, seasoned apples and spread out all the way to the edges. Finally, add the remaining custard batter and smooth that layer out to the edges.
- Cover the whole pie with a sheet of aluminum foil sprayed on the inside with Baker's Joy or vegetable spray.
Baking the Apple Custard Pie
- Place the Apple Custard Pie onto a sheet pan and into the preheated oven (350°F or 75°C) and bake for 45 minutes. Once the pie has baked for 45 minutes, remove the pie from the oven and remove the aluminum foil. Return the pie to the oven and bake for additional 30 minutes or until the top of the pie is a rich golden brown. Then, remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Allow the Apple Custard Pie to Cool Before Slicing
- Sense, this pie has custard; it should be allowed to cool off to room temperature before attempting to slice. When the pie has cooled to room temperature, take a skinny knife or thin spreader and gently run it around the edge of the pie to loosen it from the springform pan. Take your time doing this, and make sure to separate the pie dough from the pan.
- Carefully unhinge the springform pan and remove the outer ring. Finally, test the side of the pie with your hands to make sure the pie is cooled. Once confirmed, the pie is ready to slice.
Gilding the Lily (optional)
- Guild the Lily first uses the reserved apple syrup saved from the pan that steamed the apples to the guild. Using a pastry brush and baste the syrup all over the top of the pie. Next, add the reserved toasted almonds. Finally, add some powdered sugar to a fine-mesh sieve and gently cover the almonds.