The recent issue of Vegetarian Times got me drooling. (A whole section on oats - I love oats!) And the recipe for their Apple Custard Pie with Oatmeal Crust sounded delicious. So I made it. Well my own tweaked version of it,that is. I rarely follow a recipe exactly. This time it had to do with not having some of the exact ingredients on hand - like oat milk and oat flour. I got creative and used some almond milk (that has been in the pantry waiting to be used in some recipe ever since I discovered I don't like to drink straight almond milk.) Whole wheat pastry flour had to take the place of the oat flour. Butter took the place vegan margarine, since that is what I have and tend to use if not using oil. To top it off, literally, I doubled the cinnamon and halved the sugar in the topping.
The Verdict: It came out beautifully in the presentation category. The crust was the highlight of this pie in my opinion and I am looking forward to using it for other pies in the future. The custard was nice and light with a slightly nutty taste, most likely imparted by the almond milk. The main thing I would change in the future is to slice the apples very thin and layer them in stead of using the larger wedges the original recipe called for. I think this would give the pie a more delicate texture, allowing the custard and apple to be appreciated together more thoroughly.
Here's the final recipe as I would do it.
For the crust:
1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/4 cup water
For the filling:
2 eggs 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup oat or almond milk 3 small apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly.
For the topping:
1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Coat an 8 or nine inch pie plate (I used a 9.5 but the crust would go up higher on the edges with a slightly smaller pie plate) with cooking spray or oil.
2. For the crust: Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and the cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter and water until the mixture forms into a crumbly dough. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust looks dry.
3. For the filling: Whisk together eggs, sugar, and the vanilla. Whisk in the oat or almond milk until smooth.
4. In the bottom of the pre-baked crust, arrange the apple slices. Pour the filling over the apples and return the pie to the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the custard has set.
5. For the topping: Blend the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the hot pie. Cool on a wrack until serving.
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