Made from finely ground almonds, eggs, sugar, and butter, Almond Custard Pie reminds me of marzipan and makes luscious, simple-to-prepare dessert, with or without ice cream! With early American roots and accessible ingredients, it’s ideal for celebrations and a perfect finale on your Thanksgiving dessert menu.
What is Almond Custard Pie?
Among the Greatest Hits of American pies two centuries and more ago, this delicious dessert was often seasoned with rosewater or orange flower water, fragrant echoes of its origins in Middle Eastern kitchens
A confection which has literally stood the test of time, this lovely pie puts almonds to memorable use in a custard fortified with ground almonds, giving it a substantial texture and flavor I crave as I make it.
Almond custard pie has roots in early American baking, and there’s no reason this historic confection shouldn’t be a favorite in our 21st century kitchens.
What is almond paste?
You can start out with thinly sliced almonds and grind them in a food processor or even a mortar if you’re looking for an old-school culinary experience. Or make it like this version, with prepared almond paste, available in the baking section of many supermarkets and specialty stores.
I found this almond paste in a big local supermarket.
Flavorings: Almond Extract, Vanilla, Rosewater, and Orange Flower Water
I like to use almond extract for extra almond oomph, but I have forgotten to put it in, and nobody around here missed it. I still love the fragrant touch and flavor accent, but this makes clear to me that it’s great option, but not worthy of an extra trip to the store.
You can use vanilla extract instead, or give your almond custard pie an historic essence by using rosewater or orange flower water, two flavorings with roots in the Middle East which were once common and beloved in American baking.
How to make Almond Custard Pie
You can use a fork and a whisk, or an electric hand mixer, or a stand mixer to make this wonderful and traditional almond custard pie. First you’ll mash together chopped almond paste with sugar and salt.
Add the melted butter and the flavoring, stirring until you have a liquid mixture. Then beat in the eggs, one by one. This thick, soft and fluffy mixture goes into the prepared piecrust to be smoothed out and popped into a 350 degree oven.
As it bakes, this traditional pie puffs up and browns handsomely. The finished cooled pie settles back down into a smooth golden pie, delicious as is or elevated with a dollop of whipped cream or a side of ice cream or a chocolate or caramel or luscious fruit sauce.
I’m so fond of pies like this one, which come together quickly, travel well for carrying along to potlucks, and please lots of people. If you enjoy this one, you may want to check out my Magic Coconut Pie or my Delicious Pumpkin Pie as well.
- 1 unbaked 9-inch piecrust
- 1 cup prepared almond paste
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, unsalted or salted, melted
- 1 teaspoon almond extract, or rosewater, or vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the piecrust in a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
- Slice the almond paste into thick slabs, and then chop them into 1/2-inch pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped almond paste with the sugar and salt. Mash them together, using a large fork or an electric mixer to combine them well.
- Add the melted butter and continue mashing and stirring to soften and mix the ingredients evenly.
- Add the almond extract, and then add the eggs, one by one, using a fork, whisk or electric mixer to coax the ingredients together. Mash, whisk, or mix everything together well, stopping to scrape the bowl often as you work, until you have created a soft, fluffy, pale, and a fairly smooth mixture, with tiny charming tidbits of almond giving a little charming texture to the filling,
- Bake at 350 degrees F until the filling is handsomely browned, puffed up around the edges, and fairly firm all the way through (a little jiggle in the center is fine.)
- Place on a wire rack or folded kitchen towels to cool to room temperature.
i love almond flavor so much that I often add 2 teaspoons instead of one. Rosewater is lovely, if you have it and enjoy it, and I like orange flower water as well. Pure vanilla extract makes a lovely pie, too,
This pie browns quickly. If you are concerned that it is browning too fast or too much when the filling isn't yet set, simply place a big square of foil over the top of the pie, gently ---- it will be dry and not stick if it's really browned---and cook until done.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 567Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 154mgSodium 264mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 2gSugar 36gProtein 7g
Video on Making Homemade Almond Paste
I love this short-and-sweet video on how Alia of “Cooking with Alia” makes almond paste at home. She uses blanched almonds as the base. It’s one minute and 32 seconds. I buy almond paste in the baking aisle for this recipe, but I love knowing more about it, and I enjoy Alia’s you tube greatly.
Two notes on the ingredients she uses here. Blanched almonds are the whole brown almonds we easily find in the marketplace, soaked in very hot water until their outer skins slip off leaving their ivory colored centers. I think they look like giant pine nuts or garlic cloves. Gum Arabic is a resin, usually from acacia trees, used as a binder or stabilizer in food and cooking.