Apple Pie and Custard for #SundaySupper

Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in #SundaySupper, Desserts | 58 comments

Apple Pie and Custard for #SundaySupper

I noticed the first Autumn leaves this morning. Just a few, dotted on the pavement. Various shades of yellow, they crunched satisfyingly  – the promise of the season which is just beginning.

I love Autumn, most of all because of the flavours at this time of year. Warm spices, slow-cook stews, roasted fruit, apple pie. I like the zesty, light flavours of Summer, but for me, Autumn is the best time in the food calendar. This weekend, the #SundaySupper group has come together for an Autumn Apple Party, hosted by Cindy of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings. We’re showcasing the versatility and sheer deliciousness of this ubiquitous autumnal fruit.

I was originally hoping to create the most traditional of British apple pies, the kind that my grandma makes, but it ended up a little different to that. Gluten-free pastry is particularly tricky to work with, since it is gluten that gives pastry its stretchiness. So after battling with the base, the leftover pastry was too prone to falling to pieces to allow me to make a lid. So instead, I made pastry decorations for the top. The overall effect ended up a little rustic and most definitely homemade – but isn’t that what you want from an apple pie?

British Apple Pie

I also added lemon zest to the apples to give a last, summery lift to the dish. So, if you want a non-traditional pie, follow this recipe, otherwise omit the lemon zest and make a complete lid for the pie.


For the pie:

  • 3 bramley (cooking) apples
  • 8oz plain flour (gluten-free, in this case)
  • 40z butter
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Lemon zest, if desired
  • brown sugar, to sprinkle
  • Beaten egg to glaze pastry

For the custard:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1oz caster sugar
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


To make the pastry, rub the flour, sugar, and butter together between your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. (You can also whizz in a blender). Make sure your hands are cold when handling pastry at all stages – run them under cold water before you start. Add a small amount of water and some of the beaten egg yolk and bring the mixture together to form a dough. Work the pastry as little as possible. When it has come together in a ball, wrap in clingflim and pop in the fridge for 30 mins.

While the pastry is chilling, Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a circular baking tin or ceramic dish.

Peel and roughly chop the apples. Put into a pan of boiling water and stew for a few minutes until soft, but not mushy. Drain the apples and sprinkle over brown sugar and lemon zest, stirring in.Set the apples to one side and allow to cool.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is fairly thin. Lift carefully into the baking tin and press around the bottom edge. Cut away the excess pastry. Pierce the pastry base with a fork (or cover with baking beans) and blind bake for 15-20 mins.

While the pastry case is baking, cut out autumnal designs from the remaining pastry (or roll it out large enough to make a lid).

Fill the pastry case with the apples and top with the pastry designs. Glaze with the beaten egg yolk and bake for about 30 mins until pastry is golden.

While the pie is cooking, make the custard. Put the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla extract into a pan and whisk with a balloon whisk until combined. Add the milk and cream slowly, whisking together all the time. Put the pan over a low heat and stir continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat and put into a jug. Stand the jug in a pan of hot water to keep it warm.

Remove the pie from the oven and serve while hot with the custard. It can also be frozen for another day.

I know it seems like there is quite a lot to do and it is a little time-consuming, but none of it is particularly difficult and it is a very satisfying process. While you can blitz pastry  in a blender, I find it a very calming thing to make by hand, letting the flour and butter fall between my fingers. There is never more than one thing going on at a time, and ample time to clear up from each stage as you wait. This is my favourite kind of baking – an afternoon of happiness in the kitchen.

Pie with Custard

If you need more apple inspiration, look no further: this week’s menu is bursting with recipes! I think it is one of #SundaySupper’s biggest weeks yet. So peruse the recipes and see what takes your fancy. Here’s to a delicious Autumn!

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals




Remember you can join us on Twitter 7:00 pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat – Just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!



  1. Autumn is my favorite season too – I love the food, the air, the colors. Very creative of you to make the cut-outs for the top – much better than giving up! Great attitude.
    diabeticFoodie recently posted..Chicken Apple Meatloaf with Tarragon Tomato Sauce for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Shelby! I fight with gluten-free pastry on a regular basis, so I am used to it going wrong and having to adapt it as best I can :)

  2. Autumn definitely has the best flavours, it is my favourite time of the year. And I think your rustic pie looks fabulous, gluten-free pastry is very hard to work with. And my husband would agree that the best part of your pie is when you covered it in custard. :)
    Laura Hunter recently posted..Spiced Apple Ale #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Laura! Yep, in my family it doesn’t count unless it’s smothered in custard!

  3. I love your pie’s crust (the leaves). So creative and festive for the season. I’ll have to send the recipe to a couple of my friends who are looking for gluten-free recipe. Thanks for sharing this one!
    Renee recently posted..Apple Strudel for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Renee!

  4. Oh Katy! You sure captured fall beautifully! Your pie looks wonderful. :)
    baker street recently posted..Apple Pie Bread #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you so much!

  5. Apple pies should definitely be rustic, and I don´t think it gets any more british that the word custard in the title! Love the idea of gluten free pastry. Sounds delicious! Happy Sunday!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Apple Cheesecake #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks Paula! Ha, I hoped the custard would give it a very British feel!

  6. oh wow I love custard, this sounds like a brilliant combination!! I love how pretty you made it also!!! :) Beautiful!
    Crazy Kwistin recently posted..#SundaySupper Apple Pulled Pork Sandwich with Pickled OnionsMy Profile

  7. The designs on the top of the pie are so charming.
    Tora Estep recently posted..Apple gingersnap cookies: Welcome to the #SundaySupper Autumn Apple PartyMy Profile

    • Thank you Tora!

  8. Oh my gosh, I want to eat the custard sauce by itself!
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted..Apple Cinnamon Dessert Chimichangas ~ Autumn Apple Party for #SundaySupper!My Profile

    • I have some left over! Grab a spoon!

  9. Pie covered with custard? Yes, please. It looks fantastic. Happy #SS!
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..#SundaySupper ~ Apple Cider Glazed MeatballsMy Profile

    • Thanks Jennie!

  10. I love the decorations! I have trouble with regular pie crusts… and oftne use the leftovers as a way to make it pretty with leaves and such… yours came out beautifully!
    patsyk recently posted..Caramel Apple Bread {recipe} #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Patsy!

  11. Love your recipe. My Mom and I always make multiple apple pies for Thanksgiving and create fun designs on the crust. Your post made me smile (and miss my Mom!). Thanks for sharing!
    megan @Irun4wine recently posted..Apple, Brie and Bacon Popovers recipe for Autumn Apple Party! #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you! What a lovely thing to do at Thanksgiving!

  12. I love serving the pie with custard instead of the customary scoop of ice cream! Sounds decadent and delish!
    Katie recently posted..Wild Rice with Apples, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you! Ha, it’s the other way round here – custard with any sweet pie is customary!

  13. This looks so good. I’ve not tried gf crust yet. I need to try it out and see how it is.
    Kim Bee recently posted..Apple Crisp Ice Cream for Our Autumn Apple Party! #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks Kim! It’s not easy to work with, but it actually tastes ok with a good gf flour blend.

  14. Love the leaf shapes on top! So pretty!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted..Applesauce Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze . . . for #SundaySupper!My Profile

    • Thank you Alice!

  15. Your pie looks so delicious! I love the way you decorated it – very lovely :)
    bea recently posted..Apple Pear Kuchen for #SundaySupper {Apfel Birnen Kuchen}My Profile

    • Thank you Bea!

  16. this looks REALLY good!want to send me a piece? I also love the dough leaves you made :)

    • Thank you! Oops, I just ate the last bit! I’ll save some for you next time!

  17. Oh my!These look divine!!I love a good custard over anything and would love to try your apple pie for sure :)
    Soni recently posted..Curried Apple and Leek Soup ~ Autumn Apple Party #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Soni :)

  18. I love the addition of the custard never had that with apple pie!
    Tara Noland recently posted..Mouth Watering MondaysMy Profile

    • Never?! That’s sacrilege in this country! You must try it at once! 😉

  19. This looks perfect for fall! I love that you served it with custard!

    • Thank you Erin!

  20. Thanks for sharing a gluten-free dessert!
    Cindys Recipes recently posted..Apples & Buttons (Ham, Apples and Dumplings) #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • You are very welcome! Thank you for hosting such a brilliant #SS!

  21. Oh my Katy, this looks amazing – with that custard in the pie! Going to try this one. Your decorations looks beautiful!
    Patti recently posted..Slow-Cooker Hungarian Beef GoulashMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Patti! Let me know how it turns out :)

  22. Very creative pastry decor, Katy! Love apple pie very much!
    Faye Leong recently posted..Homemade Apple Jam #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you, Faye!

  23. Wow, so wonderful with the custard topping! And you’ve inspired me to add some cut outs to my next pie :) Great #SS post~
    Liz recently posted..Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Chip Bars~My Profile

    • Thanks so much Liz, happy baking!

  24. How flipping cute is that!? I love the “apple” on the pie :)
    Conni @MrsMamaHen recently posted..Because I love Autumn…..#GiveAway!My Profile

    • Thanks Conni, I’m really quite glad the top crust didn’t work out so that I could be more creative with it!

  25. Beautiful & so creative !!!! Love the way you decorated. The back ground is so pretty. Easily one of my fav pics this #SS ! You go girl !!!
    sunithi recently posted..5 Tips For Eating Healthy On A BudgetMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Sue!

  26. You are a beautiful writer. I can almost imagine myself as you described. Although I am not much of a pie fan, Love the sound of custard and apples with a little bit of pie crust decoration! Your accidental decoration was very whimsical.
    Sarah recently posted..Cook of the week challengeMy Profile

    • That means so much, Sarah. I really hope to be a good writer, as well as a baker. Thank you!

  27. I think your decorations on top are more perfect than if you had done a full crust! That’s what immediately caught my eye, so I’m glad you did those. And will you please send some of your fall leaves this way??
    Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) recently posted..Food Memories Monday – Week of 9/24/12My Profile

    • Thank you so much Brandie! Of course, you can have as many as you like!

  28. Your pie looks beautiful without a top crust. Who needs it when you have that thick, creamy, dreamy custard to pour over top? I love fall too – it’s my favourite season for many of the reasons you listed in this post.
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted..Lemon-lime blueberry bundt cake for a guest postMy Profile

  29. Hey when things don’t work as planned, improvise! Great idea w the cut outs! I would’ve just left it naked haha
    Carla recently posted..Apple TurnoversMy Profile

  30. The cut outs on top of your pie are adorable. I like the idea of the custard sauce as well.
    Hezzi-D recently posted..Beef and Broccoli Lo MeinMy Profile

  31. Love the cut outs on top! Great recipe!
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Broccoli and Cheese Pasta SoupMy Profile

  32. I love your presentation on top of the pie!

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