Apple Custard Pie

My darling husband, Henry, eats like a Dickensian fat man.  Don’t get me wrong.  He likes and eats plenty of fruit and vegetables, but what he really loves is meat, game, offal, wine, port, sherry, and cheese.  My point is he’s just not that into sweets.  He eats them to indulge me, but for the most part, my baking endeavors are lost on him.  He’d rather have another helping of roast beast.  That said, there is one thing he never shies from–apple pie.  Below is my recipe for apple custard pie.  Is it good?  Well Henry asked for seconds so yeah.  It’s really good.


1/2 the dough from Only the Best Brisée Ever

1/4 cup apricot jam

1 tablespoon dark rum

1/4 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

the zest of 1 lemon and a wedge for squeezing some juice

4 large eggs (1 for brushing the edges of your pie crust and 3 for the custard)

3/4 cup heavy cream

4 large tart apples

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons demerara sugar



a tablespoon of cinnamon sugar (1 tbsp sugar + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon)

powdered sugar



First, preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6.  Now we’re going to prepare the pie shell.  Roll the cold brisée dough as thin as you can.  I roll mine on baking paper so I can easily flip it over into my tin.  It’s a really easy way of doing things.  Cut the edges and roll or crimp them however you like.  Prick the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork and brush the edges with egg.  Line the shell with foil or baking paper then pour in some pie weights.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove the weights and cool completely.

pie shell

While waiting for the pie shell to dry, heat the 1/4 cup of apricot jam and the tablespoon of dark rum in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir often and when it starts to look like a glaze, remove it from the heat.  Strain the mixture into a little bowl.  When the pie shell has cooled completely, brush this glaze along the bottom and sides of your shell.  Allow it to dry. Now onto the custard.

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and the zest of a lemon.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in three large eggs.  Set this aside.

Heat the 3/4 cup heavy cream in a saucepan on medium heat.  Just as it begins to boil, turn it off, and allow it to cool for a minute.  Then quickly whisk it into the egg mixture.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste.


Peel and slice the apples.  Sauté them in butter with a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg.  Allow the apples to soften but do not let them get mushy.  Squeeze them with lemon juice and stir just before removing them from the heat.

spiced apples

Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles in the pie shell.  I use two forks to do this.


Now pour the custard over the apples and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

shell with applesBake at 350°F/180°C/Gas 4 for 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set.  Once it has, allow the pie to cool then dust with powdered sugar.  Put the pie under the broiler for a few minutes to let the sugar caramelize.  Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.


Cut into slices and serve.




6 thoughts on “Apple Custard Pie

  1. My husband always claims he doesn’t like desserts much either. But, then, I always have to wonder: Did the cats eat the rest of that cake? 😉 That’s a fine looking pie, and I love your vintage tablecloth. Happy Mother’s Day.

    • Thanks, Michelle. I got that tablecloth at an antique shop in Arkansas. One of the local women turned an old barn into the most spectacular shop I’ve ever seen. I returned home to California with this, a patchwork quilt from the late 1800s, saucers/cups/cream pitcher/sugar bowl from a 1st class train car from the 1920s, and my favorite treasure–a collection of paper ephemera and valentines from the early 20th century. Happy Mother’s day to you and yours.

  2. Did you get the tablecloth on “War Eagle”? I remember a huge red metal barn full of antiques. That was a good shop if it’s the one I remember. Still wish I’d picked up that Holly Hobby toy sewing machine just like I had as a kid. Incidentally, there is a fabric store in Santa Fe that sells pre-printed cloth napkins and dish toweling on a bolt (just like from the 30s/40s). A real find. Great patterns and colors in the vein as your tablecloth. Instead of selvage, the edges have already been double-folded and stitched. You just do the same on the cut edges. BTW, def trying this pie. Sounds like it would be also be amazing with peaches. (Off topic, I had a custard pie with fresh peaches years ago in Shreveport that I’ve got to decode one day. This gives me inspiration.)

    • I remember that store! That where I spent all my per diem. The woman who owned is was named Wenona, Wenona Hamm. Her husband owned most of the cattle in Carroll County. She had amazing stuff. Wonder if her shop still exists. I didn’t get the tablecloth from her. What I did get was a patchwork quilt from the 1800s, cups/saucers/sugar bowl/milk pitcher from a first class train car from the 30s, and some paper ephemera–local Valentines also from the 30s. Adorable stuff. Wish I could visit your fabric store in Santa Fe. Also wish I could have sampled that peach pie from Shreveport. Sounds like a gem.

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