Custard Pie

Custard Pie

Makes one pie.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from my mother’s recipe.

Custard pie isn’t exactly the healthiest dessert you can eat. It’s made with lots of egg yolks. But it’s delicious. When the holidays rolled around toward the end of each year, I’d ask my mother to make custard pie. Sometimes she would. I eventually figured out a recipe to make this classic pie for myself.


For the Pie Shell:
1½ cups (8 oz./227g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg; room temperature
3/8 cup (75g) butter; room temperature

For the Filling:
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
2 cups (475ml) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg


Remove the top oven rack, if present, and arrange one rack low in the oven (you’ll need the room).

In a large bowl combine the flour and sugar. In a small bowl combine the water, salt, and egg. Blend with a whisk. Add the butter and whisk until the butter is broken up into small beads. Add to the flour mixture and mix until dry enough to knead. Knead until smooth (less than a minute). Wrap and let rest 15 minutes (refrigerate if your kitchen is very warm). Heat oven to 450°F (230°C). Roll the crust to fit a standard 9-inch (23cm) pie plate. Shape the shell with high edges (the filling might be more than enough to fill the shell). Line with parchment paper or foil and fill the bottom with dry beans or other baking weights. Bake for 10 minutes. (This is called blind baking—baking the shell without a filling.)

While the shell is baking, combine the eggs and yolks in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Mix well. Add sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour into a bowl (if using a food processor) and keep mixing with a whisk or rubber spatula to dissolve all the sugar that settles to the bottom.

When the shell has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C). Remove the lining holding the beans/weights and return the empty shell to the oven. Working quickly, open the oven door and carefully pour the custard mixture into the partially baked pie shell and sprinkle the top with nutmeg. Close the oven door and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the custard about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (If using a digital thermometer, the internal temperature should be 170° to 175°F (77° to 80°C).

Allow to cool completely before serving. Serve at room temperature or cold.