Sour Cream Apple Pie: When sliced apples are nestled in a custard-filled pie and piled high with giant crumbs, could you possibly choose pumpkin over apple pie?

Given the choice of pumpkin pie or apple pie, I always choose apple. Always. 

It’s almost as if there is no need to make a choice. Pumpkin pie to me is just meh. But apple pie? How could you not love it? Sweet, tart, buttery – apple pie is the pie of choice for most of us.

But can you believe I’ve only made it once? And that was years ago for a church fair where I didn’t even get to taste it! So when Kyle and I went apple picking earlier this fall, I decided it was time to make some pie.

I couldn’t go traditional though. That would be too…conventional. I found this Sour Cream Apple Pie recipe in one of my newer cookbooks and was immediately sold.

Turns out this pie is very much like the Peach Cream Cheese Tarts I made over the summer, with a baked custard filling with apples floating throughout the custard.  I loved those peach tarts and I loved this pie.

Did I say that this is an apple pie with crumb topping?  Yep, it’s got a crumb topping!

And I’m not talking about one of those toppings where there isn’t enough to cover the whole pie. This one has plenty of crumbs – big crumbs like you’d find on a good NY crumb cake.

You’ll see by the directions below that this is a really easy pie to make. There’s no stress about whether the apples will be soft enough or if the filling will be thick enough – everything works out beautifully with this pie!

sour cream apple pie

Can you use store-bought pie dough?

Yes you can! I always make pie dough because I find the process to be a stress-reliever but if you’re not into making your own, just buy some for this recipe.

You’ll need one 9-inch pie dough for this pie.

Homemade Pie Crust

For most of the pies I made, I use this all butter pie crust recipe. But for this pie, I used an old and reliable recipe in my baking repertoire. It’s the same one I use for these apple hand pies and apple turnovers.

It’s an easy recipe to make and it works perfectly for this single crust pie.

So tell me, will apple pie make it to your Thanksgiving table this year?

Slice of sour cream apple pie with a crumb topping and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Sour-Cream Apple Pie

Yield: 12 servings
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes
Dough Chilling Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Sour cream apple pie is a delightful twist on your regular apple pie. Sweetened and sauteed apples are suspended in a custard filling and instead of a top crust, this pie is topped with a big crumb topping.

Ingredients

For the Pie Dough:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 1 ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp to ¼ cup ice water

For the Apple Filling:

  • 2 lbs Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

For the Sour Cream Custard:

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. To make the pie dough: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
  2. With machine running, add 2 tablespoons of ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. (Do Ahead: Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.)
  4. Set a rack on the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish, crimping the edges as desired with fingers or a fork.
  5. To make the filling: Place the apples in a large saute pan with butter and sugar. Cook over high heat, stirring and tossing, for 5-7 minutes until about half of the apples have dissolved. Transfer the apple mixture to a bowl to cool.
  6. To make the custard: Whisk together the flour and sugar in a bowl. Then whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream in that order, making sure they incorporate after each addition.
  7. To make the topping: Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir until the mixture forms a crumbly mass.
  8. To assemble and bake: Stir the cooked apples into the sour-cream custard filling and pour into the dough-lined pan. Sprinkle the crumbs over the filling.
  9. Bake the pie until the dough is baked through, the filling is set, and the crumbs are a deep golden color, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the pie on a wire rack. This pie is served best when it is completely cooled to room temperature.

Notes

adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri | pie dough from Martha Stewart

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  • November 18, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    I love that texture this cake has.
    I agree, I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan.

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black
    November 18, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    YUM! Gorgeous pics.

  • November 18, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    i love applie pies with crumb topping, this version looks so delicious

  • November 18, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    This sounds great! Definitely has a nice moist and rich look to it.

  • November 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    I always go for the apple pie as well. 😉 Lovely pie and what a neat filling.

  • November 18, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    This looks wonderful! Love the sour cream custard!

  • November 18, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    I’m with you! Pumpkin pie ehw…apple pie wow! I just love apple dessert soo much more and this cake with the sour cream custard brings the apple pie to a whole new level! Thanks for sharing

  • November 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    I should not have clicked on this post before lunch. Now all I can think of is PIE.

  • November 18, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    This looks absolutely delicious.. I love crumble top pies! I am bookmarking this and making it sometime in the near future.

  • Ann
    November 19, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Now, I’m dying for apple pie. I love this recipe with the sour cream custard filling.

  • November 22, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    This is a special pie. The photos are great too. But it’s that custard that is going to haunt me. GREG

  • Constance
    November 28, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    it was soooo delicious!!! everyone should at least try this pie once! apple pies are my favorite so i try different versions all the time. my sister said it was the best one i ever made!!! thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • December 10, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Wow, this sounds fantastic and seems quite simple, I think I need to make this pie in the very near future, I have everything I need to make it:)

  • September 18, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Hey! Nice twist on apple pie! Looks absolutely scrumptious! I recently discovered Apple Crostata!!! So simple and soooooo delicious! I plan to make and make the crostata…

  • […] Sour Cream Apple Pie from Smells Like Home […]

  • December 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    So great to hear! This pie is delicious!

  • […] my dad knew a thing or two about good pie. Thanks Dad!     SOUR CREAM APPLE PIE  (adapted from Smells Like Home) Makes 2 shallow pies or 1 really tall pie (if you have a deep pie dish, I don’t) […]

  • Anna
    November 6, 2019 at 2:35 PM

    Can you make this recipe with frozen pie crust?

    • Tara
      November 12, 2019 at 2:51 PM

      Yes, you certainly could! Happy baking!

  • Anna
    November 15, 2019 at 9:40 AM

    Thank You! Would I have to thaw the crusts first?

    • Tara
      November 15, 2019 at 9:48 AM

      Yes, Thaw the crusts first but keep them cold in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. You always want to bake your pies when you crusts are cold because this helps to make the crust flaky when it’s baked. If you think your crust might have come to room temperature while you fill it with the pie filling and topping, slip the pie back in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes before you bake it. I hope you love this pie as much as we did!!

  • Dianne Duprez
    September 3, 2020 at 5:16 PM

    But, really, choose some apples with character and flavor! Not bland Golden Delicious….

    • Tara
      September 28, 2020 at 10:37 AM

      To each their own! I love baking with golden delicious apples!

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