Ingredients

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges (enough for two layers)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small dice

Directions

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat 9-inch ovenproof glass pie plate with vegetable spray.
2. Arrange approximately half of apple slices on bottom of piecrust in an overlapping pattern. Sift together sugar, cinnamon and salt. Sprinkle half of cinnamon sugar over apples.
3. Pour heavy cream into 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add eggs and vanilla and beat with a fork or small whisk to combine. Pour half of egg mixture over top of pie. Layer remaining apples in pie and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Pour remaining cream mixture over top of pie. Dot with butter.
4. Bake 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F., and bake 45 minutes more, or until filling bubbles rapidly and edges of crust are nicely browned. Check pie during baking; if crust is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Cool pie on rack at least 2 hours before serving. This pie is best served the day it is baked. Store covered with paper towels and plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Recipe courtesy of The Brass Sisters, Heirloom Baking, 2006.

The Brass Sisters found this recipe written on the back of a private outpatient admitting notification form from Salem Hospital. The recipe was credited to someone named S. Lake. Although it was titled German Apple Pie, they found similar recipes for Swiss Apple Pie and French Apple Pie.

They decided to refer to it as Holiday Apple Pie because its not only simple to make and bakes in less than an hour, but it also presents well. To the Brass Sisters, no holiday is complete without a good apple pie.

Hi. I'm Marilynn.

And I'm Sheila.

We're the Brass Sisters. And we are welcoming you to our home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And today, we are making an apple custard pie. It's a very simple recipe. We found it at a yard sale, handwritten on a slip of paper.

The recipe.

Yes.

Not the pie.

Not the pie. And we're making it with you today. And please, think of us as your new friends in the kitchen. And we start and finish each other's sentences, so--

Always.

OK, I'm on.

Now, first of all, Marilynn is going to show you a very easy way to prepare the apples, once you've peeled them.

This is a melon baller. We're just scooping out the core. What we suggest is that for this particular recipe, you need four medium sized apples. They should be peeled and cored, and cut in small wedges like that. Now that's simple. It's really fun to do this with a friend, too. Now, I will tell you, also, that it's a great idea to use a really good cooking apple that won't fall apart.

We don't always agree.

No. But I prefer empire apples, or Cortland apples. And you prefer--

Golden delicious.

But we're sisters. We have the right to disagree.

That's right.

And that's fine. OK, Sheila. You're on next.

OK, I'm next. Now, what I've done is I've laid out one layer of the lovely slices that Marilynn did.

Thank you.

Next, I just take half of this. This is just cinnamon and sugar.

And a little bit of salt.

Yeah, just about a quarter of a teaspoon.

We're putting half of that on top. And this recipe is from our book, Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters.

Now, the next thing we do is we beat two eggs. You can do them in a bowl like I did. Or you can them right in one cup of heavy cream. Now, there's nothing bad in anything that takes heavy cream. It's just fabulous.

Now, I would suggest that you put your oven on 450 degrees right now. So be ready. And use the middle shelf of the oven.

Now, the other thing is we're not snobs. And you can use a bought pie crust. They're really very good. Someday, I'm going to show you how to make pie crusts in a food processor that takes two seconds.

The next addition is vanilla. And I don't measure it too carefully. But it should be one teaspoon. Always cover it up, because I've spilt many a bottle. This is what we're going to do. We're going to take half of this, pour it over here, and save the other half for the second set. What I'm going to do is move this over here.

Now, remember, these are baking apples. And they are a little firmer.

And I just quickly do another set of the apple slices, double good.

Fingers came before forks.

And I usually fill in the center just to make it nice. What do you think?

I think it's really beginning to shape up.

OK. All right, our cinnamon with sugar salt.

Be generous.

Oh, I have to. I have to put all of this on.

I know you're my older sister, but I have a right to give you advice.

It wouldn't be the first time.

I know that.

There we go.

We love baking together. And now--

Just give it a little shake.

Little shake. Cream.

Cream.

Now, I have to tell everybody something very important. You are going to keep the pie in at 450 for 10 minutes. Then, you are going to turn the temperature down to 350. And then, keep it in for about 40 minutes.

Next, one of the most important things-- little bits of butter.

We call them dice.

Dice.

Now, we use unsalted butter for baking. And that's very important, because of the moisture content.

Actually, when the sugar and the butter get together, they form a marriage of caramel. So the flavor is so wonderful in this. There you have it. So, do you want to put it in the oven?

I think I will.

Great. Wonderful. I'm going to have a piece of apple. Wow, that looks beautiful. Now, be careful. I'm sure it's hot.

It's still hot. Really, before we cut this pie, we should wait at least two hours. And I would cool it on a wire rack.

Right. You can still have it warm. But this is really hot from the oven.

Now, because we made two--

Yes. And we made this one before. Here is a piece that's absolute--

Before you go any further, my suggestion was a dollop of whipped cream.

OK.

Now, you're using a disposable pastry bag and a tip.

Let's see if we can do-- is that enough?

No. It looks pretty, but that's better.

OK. You can never have too much of whipped cream.

Always travel with a big spoon.

Or a big fork.

Yes.

OK, do you want to be the first in your group?

OK. She's the tester. And then I know if it's OK.

It's good. It's really good.

Look at how nice and brown the crust is on the bottom.

I'm just going to have another little bit. You know, I think we ought to call friends and have them come over.

I know. Because if we ate it all, it would be a disaster. So delicious. I hope you'll join us again for other wonderful recipes.

And remember to have fun baking.

Apple Custard Pie
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