French Apple Custard Pie
French Apple Custard Pie
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 1 or 2 packages Pillsbury All Ready Pie Crusts (2 crusts per package (2 crusts per package) the second package is for cut-out leaves, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 4 1/4 pounds tart apples such as Granny Smith, about 10 large apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs , slightly beaten
Egg Wash
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream , optional
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 + tablespoons Sanding Sugar
Crème Anglaise
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
Special Equipment
  • 9 inch glass pie pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Pie weights or sugar
  1. Place 1 of the prepared crusts in the bottom of a 9-inch glass pie pan and gently press up the sides of the pan. Trim edges. Do not prick crust. After shaping the dough in the pan, refrigerate for at least an hour to ensure it's perfectly cold and relaxed.
  2. Cut the other prepared crust in 1/2-inch wide strips.
  3. On a piece of waxed or parchment paper weave the strips into a basket weave pattern. Gently press down at each intersection to secure. Cut leaves or other shapes out of the 3rd prepared crust if desired. Place on a flat baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least and hour and up to 2 days.
  4. Meanwhile peel, quarter, and core the apples, then cut each into wedges about a quarter inch thick. Toss the slices as you cut them with lemon juice to prevent browning. You should have about 10 rounded cups.
  5. In large skillet over medium-low heat, combine filling ingredients. Sauté about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. DO NOT OVER COOK OR YOU’LL MAKE APPLESAUCE.  Remove from heat. Set aside.

  6. After the dough in the pie pan has chilled an hour, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the dough and gently press it down to confirm to the shape of the pan. Fold over the edges to prevent the edges burning and pour in pie weights or sugar. Weights or sugar should come up ¾ of the side of the pie to prevent the crust from puffing up and losing its shape while cooking. Place on a baking sheet (for easy transport) and partially bake crust at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

  7. In a medium bowl, mix custard ingredients.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE – may be made to this point up to a day in advance. If not baking immediately, when pre-baked crust is cooled, carefully remove aluminum foil and weights, cover lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap and hold on counter. Cover and refrigerate custard mixture and apple mixture.
  1. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spoon ½ apple mixture in pie crust-lined pie pan. Pour ½ custard mixture over apples. Add remaining apples and pour in remaining custard.

  3. Gently place the woven crust on the top of the filling. Trim and seal the edges, using a paring knife to trim excess dough and then pressing the lattice gently to the bottom crust to seal.

  4. For the Egg Wash:  Whisk egg, water and cream, if using, together in a small bowl, then brush over the pie.

  5. Stick on any decorative pieces and then sprinkle sanding sugar heavily over the entire pie top.

  6. Bake at 425 for 35 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and flaky, with no doughy damp areas remaining. Check frequently and cover as necessary with pie shield and pieces of aluminum foil.

  7. Meanwhile, make the Crème Anglaise: In a medium saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. In a small bowl, combine 4 egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar. Blend a small amount of cream into yolks. Blend yolk mixture into cream and cook over low heat about 10 minutes or until mixture coats a spoon. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Sift in cinnamon and nutmeg. Crème Anglaise may be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

  8. To serve, pour small amount of warm Crème Anglaise onto individual plates. Cut warm pie into 8 – 10 pieces and place on the plates.