Apple Custard Pie
Apple custard pie tastes like a cross between apple pie and crème brûlée! It is made like the classic, but you pour a rich custard over the apples before baking.
Apple crumb pie will forever be my favorite pie, but this one is not far behind. I love how the top caramelizes and the flavors meld together.
The noteworthy ingredients in this recipe are:
- Pie Crust – You can use a store-bought or homemade crust in a shallow or deep dish pie pan (I have notes below on how the recipe varies for each type of pan). I make mine with all-butter pie crust.
- Apples – Tart apples are always better for baking. I make apple pie filling with fresh apples to produce a flavor that canned pie filling cannot compete against. I like to use a mix of crisp apples such as Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Jonathan.
- Lemon zest – I always add lemon zest to my pie filling. It goes so well with apples.
- Apple cider liqueur – I add a touch of apple cider liqueur to intensify the apple flavor. If you don’t have this in the house, you can leave it off or try using apple cider concentrate [paid link].
- Eggs and cream – These are for the custard part of the pie. You won’t find them in a typical apple pie.
- Spices – I use cinnamon and nutmeg. You could also add a touch of cardamom if you like that flavor.
How It’s Made
Start by blind baking the pie crust. To keep the crust from rising during the bake, top it with parchment paper and pie weights, dried beans, or marbles. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 F.
Next, peel and thinly slice the apples; I cut each apple into 24 slices. Put them in a large pot with melted sugar and butter and let them cook down until they are soft, but not mushy, about 8 minutes.
Apples cook down quite a bit. At the beginning, you may think there is no way they will fit into your pie pan, but they will!
Once the apples are cooked down, stir in the liqueur and salt and pour the apples into the prepared crust.
To make the custard, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, spices, flour, and lemon zest.
If you are using a shallow pie pan rather than a deep dish pan, halve the custard.
Pour the custard over the apples and bake the whole pie at 400 F. You’ll need to lower the temperature to 325 F after 15 minutes, and then check on the pie periodically in case you have to cover it with foil or a pie guard to prevent the crust from burning.You’ll know the pie is done when the custard is just set.
Cool completely before slicing!
Expert Tips and FAQs
If you aren’t sure if your pie pan is deep enough to hold all of the custard, I suggest making all of it and adding as much as will fit. You can bake any extra custard in ramekins at 350 F for about 30 minutes. It ends up tasting like bread pudding!
If you like a higher proportion of custard to apples and you are using a regular pie pan, reduce amount of apples by half and use the full custard amount.
Keep at room temperature for up to three days or refrigerate for up to a week.
I like most pies with ice cream, but this one doesn’t need it because it’s made with custard. I always recommend warming a slice up in the microwave or oven, though!
Yes! Both will work just fine!
Apple Custard Pie
Pie Crust Ingredients
- 1 deep dish pie crust unbaked and chilled, any pie crust recipe you like is fine here
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds tart apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (4-6 apples)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider liqueur you can leave this off or substitute with apple cider concentrate
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pie Crust Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Put crust in a deep dish pie pan, coverwith parchment paper, and fill with pie weights, beans, or marbles.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and put aside weights and parchment. The bottom of the crust should be lightly browned.
- Raise oven heat to 400 F.
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat.
- Add apples and sugar and stir frequently for about 8 minutes until apples are soft but not mushy. They will reduce greatly in volume.
- Remove from the heat and stir in apple cider liqueur and salt.
- Pour apples over pre-baked pie crust.
- Whisk together all ingredients and pour over apples.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 325 F and bake for another 50 minutes. Check on the pie periodically. If the crust is getting too dark, cover with foil or a pie guard.
- Cool completely before slicing.
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