What Is Egg Custard Pie?
This 4-ways egg custard pie recipe is your basic easy pie with a few suggestions about how you can make it even better.
A pie is a dessert with a baked pie crust with a filling in it. The filling can be as simple as fruit pie filling from a can such as cherries or blueberry and it can be more complex as an egg custard that can be made with your choice of flavors.
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How to Serve Egg Custard Pie
Not all desserts are made better with additions. Fortunately, this pie is excellent if you do want to serve it with toppings and sides. Here are other ways to enjoy this dish:
Top with whipped cream or meringue: This can be a basic vanilla egg custard pie and that makes it an excellent choice for topping with light-as-air whipped cream or meringue that you can torch — or not.
Serve with ice cream: Ice cream is a go-to addition to many desserts and this pie is no different. Serve with a delicious contrasting flavor so each bite is a burst of delicious tastes.
How To Cook Egg Custard Pie
As with many pies, this basic custard pie also starts with the pie crust. It’s a simple dough made with flour, butter and/or margarine, and salt. Some vegetable shortening is added to this crust for extra flakiness. (You can get shortening at your local baking supplies store.) You can add sugar along with the salt if you want a sweetened dough. You can also add coconut, cocoa nibs, or cashews to the crust, too, for a different-tasting crust. This crust is baked in the oven and cooled completely before being filled.
The filling is the next step, and it’s a rich egg custard. It can be a simple vanilla custard but this recipe also offers you a chance to upgrade your pie filling to something different. You have 3 other flavors to choose from beyond the basic vanilla custard: chocolate custard, matcha custard, and coconut.
You will stir this into a milky mixture that’s cooked on the stove. This is poured into the baked crust and set in the refrigerator.
This is ready to slice and serve but you can dress it up with your choice of toppings. We suggest cocoa powder if you made the chocolate custard, coconut flakes and spoonfuls of jam if you made the coconut custard, and dusting the top of the matcha custard with more matcha powder. Whipped cream would be excellent too on top of any of them, especially the vanilla custard.
Tips To Make Easy Egg Custard Pie
1 Use a bain marie or double boiler to make the custard.
The hardest part of this pie is ensuring the custard is thickened and smooth, without any scrambled eggs. This is best done if you use a double boiler or a bain marie aka a water bath. This is just a gentler way of heating the egg mixture than direct heat.
2 Whisk in the flavoring powders well to avoid lumps.
Even the vanilla custard has a creamy add-in: the powdered milk. When you add this or the cocoa powder, matcha powder, or coconut milk powder to the custard, use a whisk to completely mix it in well. Lumps are the enemy of a silky custard so prevent them from forming and eliminate any chance of forming with a whisk used vigorously.
3 Chill completely.
The best way to serve this is completely chilled. The egg custard is best when chilled thoroughly so the pie can be sliced. The pie slices will also benefit from being chilled well and will taste its best.
Egg Custard Pie Storage Tips
1 Keep this egg custard pie chilled.
If you plan on eating this pie in the next few days, the best place to store it is in the refrigerator. It’s best to press plastic wrap against the surface of the pie and gently press out air, so it doesn’t develop that dreaded custard skin.
2 Wrap well and freeze this egg custard pie.
If you make this ahead of time or even want to eat it further down in time, say a week or more, freezing this pie is your best way to keep this as fresh as it was freshly made. Again, wrap well with plastic wrap but also wrap it aluminum foil for best results.
Egg Custard Pie Recipe
For Basic Crust:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled, cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 4 tablespoons cold water
For Cashew Crust:
- 2 tablespoons toasted cashews chopped
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar sifted
For Cocoa Nib Crust:
- 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar sifted
For Coconut Crust:
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
For Basic Pie Filling:
- 5 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups fresh milk divided
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter chilled, cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Vanilla Filling:
- 50 g powdered milk
For Coconut Filling:
- 50 g coconut milk powder
For Chocolate Filling:
- 50 g cocoa powder
For Matcha Filling:
- 25 g pure matcha powder
- Desiccated coconut
- Fruit jam or filling
- Cocoa powder
- Matcha powder
For Basic Pie Crust:
- Whisk together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubes of butter and shortening, and mix using a pastry blender or a fork. Alternatively, run the mixture briefly in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand. Gradually add the cold water and knead gently until the dough comes together.
- Add the optional add-ins, if using any. For the cashew and cocoa, toss them with the powdered sugar first until all pieces are coated. Knead until they are well distributed.
- Shape the dough into a ball and wrap loosely with a plastic wrap. Press lightly to flatten. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Unwrap the dough on a clean flat surface, but keep the cling film underneath. Lightly dust your rolling pin with flour, or place a large sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll the dough flat until it is bigger than the bottom of your pie plate by at least 1 ½ inches.
- Remove the parchment paper and grab the plastic wrap from underneath. Carefully flip the flattened dough onto the pie plate. Gently press the dough until it conforms to the plate. Remove the plastic wrap. Tidy up the edges, or crimp them for a nicer look. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice, beans, or any heavy oven-safe dish that fits inside your pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the edges and bottom are golden. Cool completely. Set aside.
For Pie Fillings:
- In a heat-proof mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup milk, egg yolks, flour, and salt. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together remaining milk, sugar, and your choice of flavorings (powdered milk, cocoa powder, matcha powder, or coconut milk powder). Place over medium heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir constantly and turn off the heat.
- Whisk the egg mixture continuously, and slowly pour about three fourths of the boiled milk mixture to temper the egg mixture.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and mix well. Turn the heat to Low.
- Stir the mixture constantly while occasionally scraping the sides and bottom of the pan. Heat until it thickens and comes to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat.
- Whisk in cubes of butter and vanilla extract. Carefully pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust, and smooth out the top. Let it set in the refrigerator overnight.
- Sprinkle or dust the tops with your choice of toppings (desiccated coconut, cocoa powder, or matcha powder) and top with fresh fruit slices or fruit fillings of your choice as desired before serving.