Not Your Mom’s Apple Pie: French Apple Pie

I couldn’t decide how to describe this pie. I knew it was a little unorthodox, a little nonconformist and somewhat unconventional by American standards of what defines an apple pie. My inspiration for this reconfigured apple pie comes from François Payard, one of my all-time favorite pastry chefs, who I once took a plated dessert class with at the French Pastry School in Chicago.

I have been inspired by many of the recipes in Payard’s 1999 dessert book called Simply Sensational Desserts, but one in particular has been at the root of many of my creations, including my last post, Apple Financier Cakes (11.09.15). In the introduction to his recipe for “Apple Financier Tart”, Payard says “A financier is usually a petit four (literal translation: tiny little baked things), made of an almond batter with egg whites and browned butter. This full-size financier was developed by Hervé Poussot (Almondine Bakery/Brooklyn), my friend and colleague, to take advantage of the amazing apples that are available in the fall. Consider it a French version of apple pie—but serve it without the ice cream. The moisture of the mix and the texture of the apples, with the flavor of the browned butter, make this delicious on its own.”

It was the part that says “a French version of apple pie” that caught my eye. I imagined what that might look like and it was nothing like Poussot’s beautiful and very French-looking tart with the honey-glazed top: my vision was to use his concept of combining financier batter and a cooked apple filling and to make it look American—as American as Apple Pie.


French Apple Pie

French Apple Pie






French Apple Pie
This re-imagined Apple Pie was inspired by a François Payard tart called "Apple Financier Tart". It is composed of layers of financier batter and a chunky apple filling and is very French-looking with its honey glazed top. French Apple Pie is my recipe for an American version of these same components, delicious and different, but not your Mom's apple pie.


  • 570 grams Financier Batter
  • - One recipe yields 575g (1# 4 oz) batter, divided into two portions: 285g (10 oz) each

  • 630 grams Chunky Apple Filling (1# 6 oz)
  • - One recipe yields 775g (1# 11 oz). You will have a little bit of filling left.

  • 1200 grams = Total Filling 42 oz (About 2# 10 oz)

  • 30 grams sliced blanched almonds (1/4 cup)

  • EGG WASH: 1 egg beaten with 1 yolk, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, and a pinch of salt

  • 400 grams Pie Dough Express
  • - One recipe yields 400g, which makes one unbaked pie shell in 9" glass pie plate

  1. MAKE FINANCIER BATTER according to the recipe and refrigerate. Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
  2. COOK OR BAKE CHUNKY APPLE FILLING according to the recipe and cool. Can be refrigerated for up to one week.
  3. PREP PIE DOUGH EXPRESS and fill 9" pie plate with the rolled-out dough according to the recipe, leaving the dough overhanging by 1" all around. Do not blind-bake; the crust will be baked with the filling. The pie shell can be made ahead and refrigerated for two days or frozen for longer. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in large plastic bag to prevent the dough from drying out.
  4. ASSEMBLE PIE: Spread 285g (10 oz) Financier Batter in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Spread 630g (1# 6 oz) Chunky Apple Filling over the Financier Batter. Spread the second portion of 285g (10 oz) Financier Batter over the apples. Smooth top with small offset spatula.
  5. SCATTER sliced almonds over the top of the filling.
  6. FOLD the overhanging pie dough over the filling and towards the center of the pie, ruffled neatly. Push the dough inside the rim of the pie plate; no dough should be on the rim.
  7. BRUSH egg wash on the crust, being careful not to let it drip between the crust and the pie plate.
  8. CHILL the pie 30 minutes in refrigerator before baking until the crust feels firm, or freeze for 15 minutes.
  9. PRE-HEAT OVEN to 400° F (204° C).
  10. PLACE the pie on a parchment-lined quarter or half sheet pan.
  11. BAKE about 50 minutes until the top of the pie and the crust are golden brown, rotating the pie half way through baking. Cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last 10-15 minutes if the pie is starting to over-brown.
  12. COOL the pie to room temperature.
  13. CUT into 8 or 10 wedges. A pie cut at room temperature will be a little ragged and rustic. If you want clean sharp edges on the slices, refrigerate the pie and cut while cold.
  14. SERVE cold, at room temperature, or warm, depending on your preference. I like it warmed up a little and served with ice cream.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
This pie recipe was inspired by François Payard's "Apple Financier Tart" recipe in his book "Simply Sensational Desserts: 140 Recipes for the Home Baker" (1999). In his introduction to this dessert, he refers to it as "a French version of apple pie" I only imagined what that might look like and came up with an American version of French Apple Pie. The actual recipes for this pie are my own.

French Apple Pie

Slice of French Apple Pie

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!