During a recent visit with my sister, she asked me to try a piece of custard pie that her friend had brought to her and it was amazing. However there was one problem with the pie. The aforementioned pie came from a bakery that is over 2 hours away. Thus began my quest for the perfect custard pie recipe. I began my search on Google. I typed in custard pie and I found a myriad of recipes all claiming to be the best. Then I found a pie recipe blog called http://www.everythingpies.com/. In this blog I found a few more recipes for custard pie that weren’t too different from the other recipes I had found elsewhere (eggs, milk and sugar). Then I found a section called “Vintage custard pie recipes”. This caught my attention because I write about “Heirloom recipes” which are my family’s recipes that I have tried to save from being lost forever because as some of my older relatives have passed away so have their recipes. I continued to read and the author of one recipe made a point of saying the reader needed to pay attention to a certain part of his process to achieve successful results. That’s when I realized that recipes are more than a list of ingredients. The most important part of the recipe is the methodology used by the person teaching you. So pay close attention to them because when they are gone so is the heart and soul of the recipe. Now that I am finished preaching, here is how I made my “Creamy Custard Pie” and remember to teach your children well.
9″ Single Crust Pie Shell:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp. salted butter (diced and chilled)
1 tbsp. Crisco shortening
¼ cup ice water
1 egg white reserved from filling recipe
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup Half and Half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white)
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup sugar
Pie Shell: (option – 1 frozen 9″pie crust then skip to filling)
Place diced butter in freezer for 5 minutes.
Put flour, sugar, butter and salt into food processor.
Pulse 10 times. Then pulse 10 additional times while slowly dripping ice water into tube of the food processor. Mixture should look wet yet still crumbly.
Drop mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap. Using a rolling-pin tap down the dough then roll it out to an 11’” circle.
Place dough while still wrapped in plastic in fridge for 20 minutes to an hour. After letting the dough rest in the fridge remove top sheet of plastic then flip the dough over and place in 9″ pie pan. Then remove final piece of plastic. Fit dough to pan then cut excess dough leaving 1 inch overhanging pan. Fold this back into the pan under its self. Pinch top edge to create fluting.
Brush the interior and top edge of the un-baked pie crust with reserved egg white before filling with custard. (This prevents the crust from getting soggy.)
In a medium-sized sauce pan heat milk and Half and Half until small bubbles appear along the top edge of the pan and remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk the 3 eggs and 1 yolk until creamy. Save egg white for crust.
In a small bowl combine flour and sugar. (This step prevents the flour from clumping when being added to the eggs.)
Slowly whisk the sugar/flour mixture into the beaten eggs.
Slowly add 1/3 of the scalded milk to the egg/flour/sugar mixture while whisking. Then continue to add the final 2/3 of the scalded milk. (Using this method prevents the eggs from scrambling.) Avoid adding too much air into the mixture when stirring as this will cause your custard to become grainy. Slowly pour the mixture into the un-baked pie shell. Cover edges of pie with foil to keep crust from burning.
Place the pie in the lower 1/3 of a pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil then turn the pie 180 degrees. Continue baking until the center is set, about another 20 minutes. (The pie should have a slight wiggle like Jell-O and not be too brown on top)
Transfer the pie to a rack until cool. Then place finished pie in the refrigerator to chill. Have fun and share this recipe with your friends and family!