Great Grandma's Custard Pie




Introduction: Great Grandma's Custard Pie

I live in Colorado, and love making things from stuff I have around :-D.

When my mom was a kid, her grandma would make custard pie every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is still my mom's favorite pie to this day! But the making of custard pie seems to be becoming a lost art; we don't see them in stores, and nobody else I know makes them. Great Grandma has passed on, but she left us her notes on a recipe card - I say notes because they seem to be more of a memory aid than a coherent recipe. But my mom and I have expanded those notes into a workable recipe, and continue to keep Great Grandma's custard pie tradition alive!

I hope you will enjoy this pie as much as we do; if you like flan and similar custardy things you'll probably like it :-).

Step 1: What You Need

You will need:

  • A 9" pie crust (butter pie crust tutorial here)
  • 4 large or 5 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Nutmeg

The picture shows goat milk, but I have used cow milk with no difference in results. I have never tried it with non-dairy milks, so I have no idea how that would turn out.

Note that in these pictures I am making a double batch for two pies.

Step 2: Scald the Milk

First, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Then scald the milk. This can be done in the microwave; just microwave on high for 2 minutes and as needed until it starts steaming a little (not boiling). If you are doing more than one batch worth, you can microwave the first 2 1/2 cups, put it in separate bowl, and refill the measure for another 2 1/2 cups, and repeat as needed. I then microwaved the whole bowl for an additional minute, but I don't know if that did anything beneficial or not :-P.

Step 3: Mix the Filling

Whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. You can also add a sprinkle or two of nutmeg, if desired. Then gradually whisk the milk into the egg mixture.

Step 4: Pour the Filling Into the Crust and Put in the Oven

Pour the filling into the pie crust. The uncooked filling is very sloshy, so I recommend doing this as close to the oven as possible. If you are doing multiple pies, add the filling to each pie alternately in small increments, to get an equal amount in each. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Then carefully put the pie(s) into the center rack. I recommend pulling the rack outward (not all the way out, of course!) with an oven mitt, setting the pie(s) on the rack, and carefully pushing the rack back in. As I said, the filling is very sloshy, so all this must be done slowly and carefully, to avoid splashing it out.

Step 5: Bake

Bake at 425° F for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350° and bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean (about 30 min). The filling will look bubbly and jiggly when it first comes out, but will settle and firm up as it sets.

Set on a cooling rack until cool, then put in the fridge.

(I thought I had a picture of the whole pie after it was baked, but I can't find it... :-/ )

Step 6: Enjoy!

We always serve this pie cold. You can add a squirt of whipped cream, or just eat it plain. :-)

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18 Discussions

I think it is a great idea to take the time and document family recipes like this one. My mom's recipes are more notes to jog her memory than coherent recipes too, and I always have to call her multiple times for clarification.

1 reply

Yeah, I'm really glad we have it documented, especially since Great Grandma isn't around any more to help us out!

Sounds delicious, I like that you still have your great grandma's recipe card.

1 reply

Yeah, it's amazing that it's managed to not get lost all these years!

in South Africa, we have something similar but the crust is slightly different. Its called milktart

1 reply

Cool! The crust here isn't a fixed thing; I just linked to the one I always use for pies in general. Maybe I should find the authentic milk tart crust recipe! :-)

She sure did! She also knew how to do canning and all sorts of things that I would do well to learn :-).

spot on here in south africa they are called milk tart and all super markets sell them but i must admit ( home made ) is the best. just google a recipe and use key word Milk Tart. Enjoy im voting this is my favorite pie

1 reply

Interesting; I'll have to look that up :-). Thanks for the vote!