This pie aims to elevate the humble Clafoutis; a rustic, French dessert composed of fruit baked into a simple, egg and cream custard. I never could quite love Clafoutis because it lacked structure— scooped from the baking dish onto a plate, it wanted for visual appeal and textural variety. I've always believed that it could be improved with a little help from a crisp, buttery crust.
This crème fraîche custard pie is just what I'd always wished Clafoutis could be: a lightly sweetened, creamy custard (made better with tangy crème fraîche) that's filled with juicy, tart apples, and baked inside a crispy crust. It's the perfect way to showcase apples in a slightly new way, and it will satisfy pie and custard lovers alike. Best of all, it's incredibly easy to make and requires less apples (therefore less peeling and slicing) than the average apple pie.
This recipe is (very) loosely based on one from The Joy of Cooking's 9th edition.
- Yield:serves 8
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:4 hours (not including making and resting the pie dough)
- One recipe Easy Pie Dough, one half shaped and chilled in a pie plate, the other rolled out flat and chilled on a floured sheet pan
- 2/3 cup crème fraîche
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 5 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (choose a tart variety—Braeburn, Northern Spy, Fuji are good choices)
- Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a big pinch of salt
- Additional sugar for sprinkling
In a large bowl, whisk together crème fraîche, sugar, egg, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and flour and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oats and brown sugar and pulse until they are a sandy consistency, about 15 seconds.
Arrange the apples in the chilled shaped crust and pour the custard mixture over the top. Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture over the top of the custard. Remove the chilled dough sheet from the fridge and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Use the strips to weave a lattice top. Allow the pie to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 400°F. When the pie has rested, brush it with egg wash, sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pie and turn the oven down to 350°F. Bake until the filling is set in the middle and crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool completely before serving, at least 1 hour.