Looking to step away from traditional Thanksgiving desserts and really impress your guests? Try this Cranberry Apple Custard Pie! With a layer of Crème Pâtissière (pastry cream) topped by a layer of cranberry apple compote, nestled together in flaky pie crust pastry, this pie is a delicious balance of sweet and tart. It makes a fantastic ending to a wonderful holiday meal!
Don’t be intimidated to make the Crème Pâtissière. It isn’t complicated; it simply requires your focused attention. If you’re willing to whisk continuously at the stove for a short period of time, it’ll work! And it’s worth it; nothing beats the taste of homemade pastry cream!
TIP: Use whatever apples you prefer, but we recommend using Granny Smith apples. The tartness helps balance the sweetness of the pastry cream.
Cranberry Apple Custard Pie
(Original recipe: Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook)
3 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
1 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sift cornstarch, granulated sugar, and brown sugar into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in milk, cream, egg yolks, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until large bubbles erupt on the surface and the custard has thickened. Be careful not to turn the heat up too hot or you will scramble your egg yolks. However, if the mixture hasn’t begun thickening within 10 minutes, increase the heat slowly until it does. Once thickened, remove it from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
Cranberry Apple Compote
2 C fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw if frozen)
9 oz Granny Smith apples (approx 2 apples), peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
1/4 C granulated sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, chopped apples, and sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the cranberries have popped and the apples are tender. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
To assemble the pie, fill a baked and cooled pie shell with the custard and smooth. Top the custard layer with the cooled cranberry-apple mixture. Let the pie set in the fridge for an hour before serving.