Custard Pie: the delicious dessert recipe everyone will love

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

A creamy custard pie is an easy, old-fashioned Southern dessert recipe. To make it, an uncooked custard mixture is added to an uncooked or partially cooked crust and baked together. The results? The perfect balance of a crispy, buttery crust with a creamy, silky custard.

This rich, sweet old-fashioned custard pie will go perfect with a cup of tea. It’s a great dessert to make for those times when you only have pantry staples on hand. Who would have thought that with eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and cornstarch you can make a satisfying dessert that will most certainly be a crowd pleaser.

For this recipe, we covered the surface with crisscross strips, but you can also decide to leave them out.

What Is Custard Pie?

Custard pies can vary in flavor, but the most basic preparation involves a custard (made from sugar and eggs, thickened with corn starch) which is poured into an unbaked pie shell. The two are then baked together until the mixture is set.

It’s the most basic form of pie belonging to the custard pie family. These include shoofly pie, buttermilk pie, pumpkin pie, and chess pie. Chess pie differs in that the mixture is sometimes thickened with cornmeal. This also gives the pie a yellow color.

It’s not certain how far back custard pies go; some say it goes back as far as the Roman Empire. But what we do know is that the classic custard pie recipe can already be seen in recipe books from the 1800s. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.


Custard Pie Ingredients

Eggs – use large eggs; it will be used for the crust and to thicken the custard.

Sugar – use granulated sugar. To dust the custard pie at the end, you will use powdered sugar.

Vegetable oil – use a neutral oil; olive oil will be too overpowering.

Flour – use all-purpose flour

Cornstarch – used to thicken the custard (not cornmeal)

How To Make Creamy Custard Pie

Make the dough. Mix the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Sift in the dry ingredients and knead to form a dough. Take 1/3 of the dough and set it aside (you will use this to create the dough strips. With the remaining 2/3 dough, press it into the pan to create a pie crust. Make the dough lines/strips. Roll out the smaller piece of dough and use a pastry cutter to cut it into smaller decorative strips. Set aside.

Now it's time to make the custard. Mix together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and cornstarch, pour in the milk, and cook until thick. Let's assemble the pie now. Pour the custard into the pie crust. Lay the dough strips over the custard mixture, then pinch the edges with a fork. Bake and serve chilled.


How To Tell If Custard Pie Is Done

Overbaking the custard pie will result in a rubbery pie—no one wants that. Start checking 5 minutes before the baking time ends.

If the edges are firm, but the center jiggles a bit, the pie is ready. Switch off the oven and leave the pie to cool.

Tips For making Old-Fashioned Custard Pie

Leave out the dough lines for a more traditional look.

For a custard made with evaporated milk, use 4 eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup milk, 2/3 cup evaporated milk, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, ½ tsp ground cinnamon.

For a no-bake version, cook the custard in a saucepan over medium heat and pour it into a prebaked shell (store-bought). Leave to set in the fridge.

Instead of powdered sugar, grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the custard pie. Cinnamon will also taste great!

For a flakier crust, use butter or lard instead of vegetable oil.

For a rich custard pie, use full-fat milk. Skim milk will give you a lighter pie.

Use a store-bought unbaked pie shell for a shortcut.


How To Store Custard Pie

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Can You Freeze Custard Pie?

Yes, you can! Make sure the pie is cooled completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place in another plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months – remember to label correctly.

When you want to serve the pie, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight, then remove the plastic wrap and serve.

80 g (2/5 cup)
Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp
Vegetable Oil
120 ml (10 tbsp)
340 g (2 7/8 cups)
Baking powder
10 g
for the custard
500 ml (2 cups)
60 g (2/6 cup)
Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp
Powdered sugar


In a bowl mix together eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Sift in flour and baking powder, mix the dough.

Divide into bigger and smaller parts. Transfer bigger part to the baking pan.

Spread it evenly also on the edges.

In a pan mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and cornstarch, pour in the milk and cook until thick.

Roll out the remaining piece of dough.

Use a pastry cutter to cut the dough into 1-inch strips.

Pour the prepared custard mixture onto the dough.

Cover with dough strips.

Pinch the dough edges with a fork, then bake at 180°C (350°F) for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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