This traditional, lightly sweet egg custard pie with apples is made perfect for apple season with layers of thinly sliced apples. With or without a crust!
A traditional egg custard is made with milk and eggs that are blended and baked. This custard pie is a cross between that sort of custard and cheesecake. Because who doesn’t love cheesecake, and this one is only very lightly sweet, which makes it extra special before we even start talking about the apples.
You can make this pie with or without a crust, as it bakes up stable enough to be sliced crustless. But the light, flakiness of a bottom pie crust is the perfect contrast to the creaminess of the filling that’s studded with fork-tender apple slices. So I highly recommend making it with the crust.
Speaking of those apples, be sure to slice them thin, but not paper thin. If they’re so thin they’re practically see-through, they’ll melt right into the custard as they bake.
The apples are settled into the filling in two layers, one in the middle and one on top. The top layer of apples browns a bit, thanks in part to a light drizzling of honey right before the pie goes into the oven. The middle layer of apples bakes just to fork tender and makes for an absolutely dreamy combination of textures.
Ingredients and Substitutions
As often as I can, I try to offer suggestions if you have other dietary preferences or restrictions. With some recipes, I’m a bit more optimistic than others.
I’m afraid with this custard pie with apples, as it relies quite heavily both on dairy and on eggs, I’m not too optimistic. But here are my best guesses:
Dairy-Free: First, for the crust: rather than using my recipe for extra flaky gluten free pie crust, which is made with butter and sour cream, I recommend using my recipe for traditional gluten free pie crust, and replacing the butter with butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening.
The filling of this custard pie is made with both cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, and each presents a challenge to making this pie dairy free. I haven’t tried to replace dairy in this pie, but you might experiment with dairy-free cream cheese as a replacement for both cheeses.
Egg-Free: As usual, my recommendation is that, for up to 2 eggs, a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) for each is usually a relatively safe bet.
But this recipe has very few ingredients, and it calls for 3 eggs. I’m afraid I don’t feel confident about that replacement at all.
Flour: This recipe calls for 1 tiny tablespoon of tapioca starch/flour. You can also use my gum free gluten free flour blend in its place, or even 1 tablespoon of plain old cornstarch. It helps stabilize the filling as it bakes, especially as the apples release their moisture during baking.
Click play ▶️ below to watch me make this easy custard pie with apples.
Then make your own!