French Custard pie with Apples bakes up to a smooth and creamy texture of custard with the delicious sweetness of fresh apples. It's absolutely loved for its simplicity, basic ingredients and great flavors.
It's the perfect dessert, with rustic charm. Plus it not overly sweet creating a balance that allows the flavors of the custard and apples to shine.
French Custard Pie -with apples (Flan Parisien)
Flan Parisien is a French custard pie also known as Flan pâtissier. Its is quite popular in France, in fact you will find them in most patisserie shops.
Typically, the French Apple Custard pie is baked with a puff pastry base. However, my version takes a twist by being a crustless pie with fresh sliced apples.
Plus you have the choice to either layer the base or top the batter with the slices of apples. (or both). The choice is yours 🙂
Note: When preparing the recipe, remember that you'll need to chill the batter at least an hour before baking. So, consider this when planning your baking schedule. The great thing is that you can even make the batter ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight if you'd like.
If you're new to this recipe, I've got you covered with a handy shopping list that includes ingredient substitutes, plus visual instructions and helpful tips.
Or, if you're in a hurry, you can jump straight to the recipe card for all the measurements and instructions.
Shopping list for ingredients and substitutes if needed
This is just an overview, jump down for the full recipe card for the recipe amounts and recipe instructions
¾ cup (100g) All purpose (same as plain flour -UK) OR cake flour
⅔ cup (135g) white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs: It doesn't matter whether you use cold eggs straight from the refrigerator or let them come to room temperature – both options work just fine.
1 cup (250ml) whole milk (full fat) - For best results, go for whole milk (full fat) when making this recipe. Just remember that low-fat or skimmed milk won't work well in this French Custard pie.
1 cup (245ml) heavy cream (any dairy whipping cream works): Adds richness and a smooth creamy texture to the French Custard pie.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium apples
How to make French Custard Pie -with apples
This is just the visual so you can see the process. When you are baking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the end of the page
Super easy to make with all the ingredients mixed in one bowl.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour,salt and sugar.
- Add the eggs, cream, milk, and vanilla.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Get the batter out of the refrigerator and stir gently, mixing any flour that settled to the bottom during chilling.
- Line a baking pan (bottom and sides) with parchment paper. Ensure it hangs over the sides of the tin for easy removal after baking. I used a 7.5 inch (19cm) round cake pan.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Arrange the slices of apples over the batter.
- Bake for 35 -40 minutes in a preheated oven of 325° F / 170°C (150°C) if you are using a fan assisted oven). A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean once baked.
- Remove from the oven but leave in the pan for 15 -20 minutes to cool and set.
- Holding on to the overhanging parchment paper, gently but quickly lift out the baked custard pie.
- Slice and serve while warm or refrigerate until serving.
Tips and frequently asked questions
Do the apples need to be peeled for this recipe?
- Whether you peel the apples or not depends on the kind you're using. If you've got thin-skinned apples like Royal Gala or Golden Delicious, you can leave the peel on.
- They soften up nicely while baking and give the baked pie a rustic texture. Just make sure to slice them really thin (at least ⅛ inch/ 3mm) so you don't end up with any tough or stringy pieces.
- But if you've got apples with a thicker peel like Granny Smith, I'd suggest peeling them before using in the recipe.
Types of baking pan to use
- I used a 7.5 inch (19cm) round cake pan for this recipe. The French Custard Pie baked up to 1.2 inches (3cm) in height.
- You can use any baking pan for this recipe, but remember that a larger pan will result in a thinner French custard pie.
Why is it necessary to refrigerate the batter before baking.
When you chill the batter before baking, it helps the custard set evenly, avoiding a rubbery texture. The cold batter ensures that the custard bakes evenly.
In addition, chilling the batter reduces the shrinkage of the custard as it cools.
Should the baked French custard pie be left to cool in the pan before removing?
Yes, absolutely, here's why:
During the cooling process, the custard continues to set and firm up. Cooling in the pan helps the custard maintain its shape and structure as it cools.
Letting the custard pie cool in the pan makes it more stable and less likely to fall apart when taken out, as hot custard is delicate.
It also makes it easier to handle and transfer to your serving plate.
The ingredients blend together, creating an even more delicious flavor combination
How to store
The baked French custard pie can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.