Frugal Recipe: Sour Cream Apple Custard (Regular & Gluten Free Versions)

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA 

This is a rich, slightly tangy and sweet, incredibly rich, apple pie recipe. The pie has layers of complexities that appeal to all the taste sensations. The apple cider piecrust is rich and flaky but has an added flavor of apple cider, the filling tastes familiar, soft and tender with a sour tang and the topping is a lovely walnut strudel crunch. This pie does take some time to make, but you will be rewarded with an incredible pie that you will make again and again.

The Healing Place has to confess this pie taste better made with gluten four. We did try the gluten free version, but it changes the piecrust texture too much. Also due to the crust’s lack of gluten, the piecrust is difficult to roll out due to lack of elasticity.

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Serves: 8-10 people
Pie pan size: 9 or 10″ (preferably 10″)

Crust Ingredients:
Combine in a food processor the following ingredients:
1 ¾ cup flour or gluten free flour
¼ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of salt (or less)
1 stick of cold butter cut into 8 pieces

Process until mixture resembles large peas and add ¼ cup of apple cider or juice. Process until dough forms into a ball. With floured hands form dough into a ball and wrapped in plastic or floured wax paper and chill for one hour in the refrigerator. While the dough is chilling, make the strudel topping and set aside and then make the filling.
At the end of chill period, roll dough out into ¼” thick and gently ease into pie pan. (If the dough is too hard due to overchilling, let it come up to room temperature slightly. Cold dough is easier to roll and handle.)

Filling Ingredients

Combine in a bowl the following Ingredients:
8 cup of sliced apples (6 cooking apples, MacIntosh, Cortland, etc.)
1 2/3 cup of regular or lite sour cream
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ teaspoon of salt (or less)

For easier clean up, place pie pan on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum. Place filling into prepared crust. Bake in pre-heated over of 450 degree for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 350 degree and bake 35 minute more. To test for doneness, insert knife in center, and if it comes out clean, take pie out of oven and add the topping.
Mash down the apple filling slightly with fork, sprinkle topping over filling and bake at 350 degree for 15 minutes more

Topping Ingredients
Combine in a food processor the following ingredients -
1 cup of whole or chopping walnuts (whole nuts will chop while mixing)
½ cup of flour
1 stick of cold butter
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mix until mixture crumbly and set aside. Take pie out of oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 2 hours or more before slicing. Serve with ice cream. Big time YUM for this fun and frugal favorite!

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