Apple pie doesn’t get much more iconic, and hard to imagine it could get any better. But it can, with this French Apple-Custard Pie. Sautéed apples, creamy vanilla custard, and crunchy almond streusel come together to create the ultimate autumnal pie – perfect when you want to celebrate a holiday with a familiar, yet elegant dessert.
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 fillings in this recipe.) But please don’t be intimidated – homemade pie crust is 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 compliment 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 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 topping as well.
A few sides 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.
FOR THE FILLING, MELT:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 lb. baking apples such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (4–6 apples)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dark rum (optional)
¼ tsp. table salt, divided
1 recipe Best-Ever Pie Crust, made into a single 9-inch crust and blind-baked
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
⅛ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
FOR THE ALMOND TOPPING, COMBINE:
1 cup sliced almonds
⅓ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
· Preheat oven to 325°.
· For the filling, melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add apples and 2 Tbsp. sugar; sauté until apples are soft but not mushy, 8–10 minutes. Stir in rum and salt. Spread apples over the bottom of the blind-baked crust.
· Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, cream, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and remaining 1/8 tsp. salt; pour over apples in pie crust. Bake pie until custard is barely set in center, about ⏰ 30 minutes.
· For the almond topping, combine almonds, sugar, and softened butter, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Remove pie from oven; sprinkle with topping. Cover pie with a pie shield if the edge of the crust is overbrowning.
· Return pie to oven; bake until custard is almost set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 15–20 minutes more. Cool pie completely before slicing, or chill pie, then bring to room temperature when ready to serve.