Apple Cream Pie

I love this time of year! The weather, color, gatherings with friends and family,Braeburn and golden delicious apples in a bowl. and the food! Thanksgiving in the US is just a few weeks out and menu planning at White House Red Door is well underway. Truth be told, the planning is not too difficult, as the menu has pretty much remained unchanged since my childhood. It’s not that my parents, siblings, or my own family don’t like to try new foods, or experiment; Christmas dinners, Easter brunches, and other traditional meals vary from year to year, but Thanksgiving has always remained the same, well at least the main dish and sides. There would be a “coup de cuisine” if candied yams weren’t on the table. That said, desserts are an entirely different story. We are far more flexible in our after dinner fare thinking. Friends often join us for dessert, bringing their favorite treats, creating a beautiful cornucopia of desserts.

One pie that has made appearances off and on through the years is my mom’s Apple Cream Pie. Quite unlike a traditional double crust apple pie, Tarte Tatin, or apple crisp, which have all shown up to the party over the years, this pie features tender slices of apples nestled in a bed of creamy custard. Traditional enough for the purists but outside the box enough for those wanting something new or different. For reasons unknown, this pie has not been in attendance for some time, and I’ve never made it myself. Curious to give it a go, I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered and should be included on the menu this year. Without a doubt, it was and will be.

Women's Day Encyclopedia of CookeryConversations with mom revealed that the original recipe came from a long out of print encyclopedia like set of cookbooks from Women’s Day, actually called Encyclopedia of Cookery. My mom still has her set and found an identical set at a tag sale years ago that she gave to me as a gift. It turns out the recipe for this wonderful pie has been sitting in the vintage set of cookbooks, in my own house, for years.

The pie is simply elegant, with few ingredients, quite light and perfect after a heavy meal. I’ve taken the original recipe and updated it somewhat by adding a cinnamon stick, star anise, and cardamom pod to the stewing liquid. These additions infuse the simple syrup, and eventually the cream, with classic flavors and aromas that pair well with the apples. After making the cream pie for dessert this week and receiving all round approval, it will now regularly appear not only on our holiday tables, but throughout the fall and winter.

What desserts will show up on your table this year? Are you a traditionalist serving the same menu each year, or do you like to mix it up?

Apple Cream Pie

Apple Cream Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 30 minutes active + 40 minutes baking
  • Print

Ingredients:
5 cooking apples, peeled and sliced into eighths
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 anise star
1 cardamom pod
Pastry for one 9” pie crust, unbaked
1 egg
½ cup heavy cream

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put apples in a saucepan with sugar, water, cinnamon stick, anise star, and cardamom pod. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. While apples are simmering, line a 9” pie plate with crust, decoratively crimping edges and place in freezer until needed.

When apples are tender, remove and place them in a strainer set over a bowl to catch any juices. Continue to simmer syrup left in saucepan until reduced to approximately ½ cup. To that add any syrup caught from draining apples.

After apples have cooled slightly, place in the pie pan lined with pastry. Beat egg and cream together and stir in reserved syrup. Pour over apples. Transfer to oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until custard is set- the center will be slightly jiggly, but will continue to firm up as it cools. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Peeled apples, cut into eighths.
Peel the apples and cut them into eighths.
Apples with sugar, water, cinnamon stick, anise star, and cardamom pod in a saucepan.
Add sugar, water, cinnamon stick, anise star, and cardamom pod.
Simmering apples in sugar syrup with cinnamon stick, anise star, and cardamom pod.
Simmer apples until tender, about 10 minutes.
Apple syrup in measuring cup, with apples draining in sieve.
Drain apples, reserving any syrup, you should have about 1/2 cup of apple syrup.
Apples placed in the bottom of a pie plate lined with pastry.
After apples have cooled slightly, place them in the bottom of a pie plate line with pastry.
Egg, cream and syrup mixture poured over the apples.
Egg, cream, and syrup mixture is poured over the apples. Bake for 30-45 minutes in a 350°F oven until custard is set.
Apple Cream Pie cooling on a wire rack.
When the custard is set, remove the pie and place on a wire rack for cooling.
Apple Cream Pie dusted with powdered sugar.
If desired, dust the Apple Cream Pie with powdered sugar before serving.

21 thoughts on “Apple Cream Pie

  1. This looks extremely tasty and a nice change to a straightforward apple pie (which usually has a pastry cover/top in the U.K.) I’ve never made a pie with the fruit set in custard, but I like apples and I like custard, so I’m sure it will be lovely. Thank you for sharing the recipe. 🙂

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      1. It would be a great comfort, you’re right! I’m a real pie girl – brought up on them. No wonder I looked like a little pudding when I was young. 😀
        I’m glad I’ve caught you, Jean. I’m in the middle od writing a blog award post and was wondering whether your blog was award free. Would you be OK with a nomination? No problem, if you’re not – many boggers don’t accept them. 🙂

        Like

      2. Wow, Millie! Thank you for considering me for a blog award, I am beyond flattered! I will be completely honest… I am so new at this, I really don’t know much about them, so can’t say one way or another at the moment. But again, thank you for thinking of me. It really means a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ll noninate you and you may be able to decide when you see what you have to do. There’s no obligation to accept, so don’t feel bad if you don’t fancy the idea once you see my post. I do write long answers (because I’m an idiot!) 🙂 but most people write much shorter ones. I’ll post it sometime tomorrow and you’ll get a pingback to my post on your About page. Hope that all makes sense. I’m ready for bed right now. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this. It’s funny my Mom did this same thing with peaches which is equally as delicious. Thanksgiving is exactly the same every year and there would be a major coup if it were not I understand exactly what you speak of. Other holidays are not sacred like Thanksgiving. The pie is wonderful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh! I bet the peach pie was delicious! It is so funny how stuck in our ways we get about Thanksgiving dinner. The connection to the past springs to life every time we make grandmother’s stuffing, auntie’s pie, or dad’s gravy; with each bite they are at the table with us again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Thanksgiving is sacred, I have tried changing or adding somethings different and it does not go over well. It’s ok I love it all and it’s always good and tradition is important. Oh yes the peach cream pie is wonderful my mom didn’t put a top layer but I do.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We careen between the ultra-Southern traditional and iconoclastic (once we had a French Thanksgiving, many times the Calvin Trillin spaghetti carbonara variety). That pie looks great. I loathe apple pies in which the apples taste raw. What a great way to avoid that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Jeanie, for posting the family’s apple cream pie recipe. From the response, it will
    feel as though you have brought many more friends to our table to share this lovely, simple
    Thanksgiving dessert.

    Love,
    Mom

    Liked by 1 person

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