Friday, September 26, 2014

Apple Cheesecake Custard Pie

I found a really interesting apple pie recipe in a community cookbook - it was an apple pie with what sounded sort of like a custard filling. Sort of.

To be honest, the "custard" part of the pie sounded like it might be a little too wet to set properly. But I figured I'd give it a try. What the heck...

The recipe instructions were a little untrustworthy, in other ways. For example, it said that the apples should be peeled and then pared. But ... that's the same thing.

I tried the recipe, despite all the clues that I shouldn't have, making my best attempts to interpret in between the lines. It sounded like it could have been good.

It was an unholy mess.

I started poking around online and didn't find anything close. There were some apple custard pies ... but none seemed like the correct version of the one in the community book. Many of them called for condensed milk or even sweetened condensed milk, where this one called for plain old milk. Maybe that was the issue.

I poked around a little more, and didn't find anything that was calling to me to make it.

So I decided to whip up my own custom version. The apples are cooked first, so they don't release too much moisture into the custard. And the custard itself is a little different - it's actually a bit of a cross between cheesecake and custard.

Here's a confession. I had no idea how the apples would behave. I had no idea if they were going to stay put at the bottom of the pan, or whether they'd float to the top. Well, they did float a little, but they actually distributed themselves nicely throughout the custard, so the resulting pie has layers of apples interspersed with a creamy custard-like filling.

I thought it was pretty interesting.

Speaking of pretty, it didn't cut as pretty as some pies I've made. But that's fine. The flavor made up for it.

Psssst! There's a link to a GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post! Courtesy of Casabella.

Apple Cheesecake Custard Pie

1 recipe for a single pie crust

For the apples:
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
4 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced

For the cheesecake custard:
4 ounces cream cheese
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

For the topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

If you're making your own crust, have it ready and chilling in the refrigerator.

To cook the apples:
Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the salt, cinnamon, sugar, and apples. Cook until the apples are slightly softened, then turn up the heat and continue cooking until there's very little liquid left, and the liquid that is there has thickened.

Set aside to cool to room temperature. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed. You absolutely don't want to out it into the pie crust while it's warm - it should be room temperature or cooler.

To make the filling:
Use an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese to soften it. Add the sugar and salt ad beat until combined. add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add the vanilla and milk and mix until combined.

Roll the pie crust to fit your pie plate, Fit it into the plate and flute the edges as desired.

Place the apples in the bottom of the pan, then add the filling mixture.

Cover the edges of the crust with pie shields to keep them from over-browning. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees and bake another 40 minutes, or until the custard is mostly set, but it's still slightly jiggly in the center.

Note: check the browning of the crusts about 10 minutes before the pie is cooked. Removed the pie shields if you want more browning - how much it browns is going to depend in your crust recipe.

Remove the pie from the oven when it's done and let the pie plate cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

To make the topping:
Combine the sour cream and powdered sugar. Spread over the top of the pie. Please note that I'm a huge fan of sour cream toppings ... so I might have gone just a tad overboard here. Half as much would cover the pie with a thin layer. Or, if you're a fan of sweet, then whipped cream might be more your style.