Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Pie a Week - French apple custard

By now, pie dough is a breeze for me, using the all-butter recipe I found. Now I'm concentrating on thinking up creative fillings for pies.

I had some granny smith apples. I also had some eggs from our neighbor's chickens. In a book of recipes I bought when we visited Burgundy, France, I learned that a very common type of French pie is to bake fruit in a sweetened egg custard in an open-faced tart.

So I lined my small tart pan with pastry, and then sliced the peeled apples into crescents. I tossed the apple slices with brown sugar, and then sprinkled a bit of ground ginger into the bowl. I grated the peel of an orange, and added that to the bowl, too.

While I let the fruit take on the sugar, I spread a thin layer of red currant jelly on the bottom of the tart shell. Then I laid the apple slices in a decorative pattern into the shell.

I made a custard with two eggs, some half and half, and about a half-cup of sugar - I didn't want it too sweet. I sprinkled in some grated nutmeg and a little bit more of the grated orange peel. Then I poured it over the fruit in the shell.

I've seen French tarts with a decorative lattice pastry top, and I had enough confidence in my new favorite pie crust to think I could work with it. So I rolled out an oblong bit of dough and used a pinked pastry wheel to cut strips about 1/2" wide. I laid these across the top of the tart in one direction, spaced about 1 inch apart.

Then I wove the rest cross-wise, under and over the others. When finished, I pressed the ends into the sides of the pie, and sprinkled it with granulated sugar before putting it in the oven.

Here it is after 50 minutes of baking. Pretty nice, huh? And pretty tasty, too! We had it for dinner, and it held up nicely enough to go to work with me on Monday for lunch!


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's how I do my shoelaces!

Pie looks delicious, Aunt Snow.

Sue said...

My husband would love to live at your house during this pie project! This sounds yummy!

Gilly said...

That looks a very yummy pie!

And I am absolutely full of admiration for your weaving the pastry strips into a lattice pattern! When I tried to do that (in the days I actually made pies!) I used to get into a terrible mess!

You are a very creative cook!

Anonymous said...

My mouth is watering...

Whiskeymarie said...

I'm not a fan of regular apple pie, but I LOVE anything custard- this looks delicious!

cactus petunia said...


Nej said...

Oh my, that looks sooo good!! :-)

Cassie said...

It looks delish and professional. Harder to do than alot of people realize. I generally am so ready for a sweet treat that by the time I bake it,- it gets devoured before it has a chance to set up and cool or get its picture taken... ;p