Pies are always delicious, especially fruit pies; but I wanted to experiment with a different kind of filling.
So I got to thinking, “What if the pie has a custard along with chunks of sweet fruit?”, and was immediately hooked to the idea.
This Mango Pineapple Custard pie has a dreamy custard, folded with succulent chunks of mango and pineapple, with hints of orange, vanilla and lemon. Needless to say, every bite is an explosion of fruity, creamy flavor.
What’s more? The all-butter, crispy and flaky pie crust contrasts beautifully with this soft, delicious filling.
It’s like so many of our favorite desserts packed into one!
Step 1: What Are the Components You Need to Make This Pie?
The pie has 3 different components:
1. A double pie crust, for the bottom and for the top. You can use store-bought or homemade pie crust.
2. Custard. If you prefer puddings, you can also use homemade or storebought vanilla or mango puddings. That will also give a similar flavour.
3. Mango - pineapple fruit filling.
If using homemade pie crust and custard, they can be made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated to distribute work. The fruits can also be chopped, covered and frozen ahead of time.
Step 2: From Scratch Flaky Buttery Pie Dough
If using store bought pie dough, simply roll it out.
For my homemade pie crust recipe, a few important points to remember are:
1. It is important that you use frozen butter, a cold egg and fridge cold water for a super flaky pie crust. So measure the butter, cut it into cubes and freeze it for at least 30 minutes.
2. Do not overwork the dough, or the pastry will become tough.
3. During summer and dry weather conditions, you may require the entire amount of water mentioned in the recipe. During winters and/or humid weather conditions, you may require a little less water. So add about 3 tablespoon of water initially, and then increase by 1 teaspoon water at a time, as may be required. (1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons)
2 3/4 cup (357 gm) All purpose flour
1 1/4 cup (282 gm) Salted butter, cut into cubes and frozen (I prefer a salty pie crust to contrast with the sweet filling, but it’s okay to use unsalted butter too)
2.5 tablespoon (31 gm) White Granulated Sugar
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, cold
4.5 tablespoon (68 ml) cold water
This recipe makes enough for two 9 inch or two 10 inch round pie crusts.
FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD:
1. Add the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor, and pulse to mix evenly.
2. Add the frozen butter and pulse a few times, till it reaches a coarse sandy crumb kind-of texture. Do not pulse too much, we do not want the butter to be too fine.
3. Add the egg and 3 to 3.5 tablespoon of cold water, and pulse till the dough starts to come together. It will not form a dough, just start to come together and hold its shape.
4. Spread a silicone mat, silpat, or parchment paper on your work surface, and turn out the dough. Add more water tsp by tsp as may be required to form a dough. Do not knead it, just try to accumulate the dough with both hands, and bind together gently. It will easily hold its shape. Divide the dough into 2, one part being slightly larger than the other (you need more dough for the bottom crust).
5. Quickly transfer to 2 separate cling film sheets and press down to form a disk shape. The disk shape makes the pie dough easier to roll out. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, and then you are ready to roll!
PASTRY BLENDER METHOD:
1. Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
2. Add the frozen butter and blend it in the flour using a pastry blender till it reaches the coarse crumb texture. (THIS STEP CAN BE DONE USING A FORK AS WELL, or you can even grate the butter in the dough, but that method is very cumbersome and time-consuming, and the resulting pie crust is not as flaky.)
3. Add the egg and 3 to 3.5 tbsp of water and mix in using a spatula, till the dough starts to come together.
4. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as may be required to form the dough. Do Not Knead or overwork the dough.
5. Divide the dough into two, with one part slightly bigger than the other.
6. Wrap it in cling film and shape like a disk. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes before rolling it out.
The pie dough can also be well wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Remove it from the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight, the night before you want to use it.
Step 3: From - Scratch Velvety Custard Filling
Making the custard filling is really easy, and takes a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare. Just a little care while following the steps will give you the smoothest, most velvety custard for your filling.
2 Egg yolks
6 tablespoon (90 ml) Milk
14 tablespoon (210 ml) Cream (if you prefer a lighter product, you may use all milk instead of adding cream)
2 tablespoon (25 gm) Granulated White Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1.5 tablespoon (30 gm) Honey
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
1. In a heatproof bowl, beat together the egg yolks, salt and sugar, till it becomes a little pale in colour.
2. Heat milk and cream in a saucepan, till it just begins to simmer.
3. Slowly and gradually add the hot milk and cream mixture to the yolks, and whisk. This is called tempering the yolks, and it is done to gradually increase the temperature of the yolks, without scrambling them.
4. Pour the yolk-milk-cream mixture back in the saucepan, and whisk continuously, heating at low. Continue whisking till the mixture begins to thicken. It barely takes a minute or two.
5. Remove from heat and pass it through a sieve. Allow to cool a little, then cover and refrigerate.
POINTS TO TAKE CARE:
1. Do not overheat the mixture. If you overheat, the mixture will start to curdle.
2. If it does start to curdle, don’t panic. Immediately remove from heat and using a stick blender or a regular blender, blend the mixture together. It will be fine.
3. Make sure to whisk continuously so that the eggs do not scramble.
Step 4: Mango Pineapple Fruit Filling.
This is again a super simple step. You just need to cube the fruit and toss it together with the rest of the ingredients. That’s all!
35 ounces (1 kg) of fresh or frozen mango chunks
12.5 ounces (350 gm) of canned (and drained) or fresh pineapple chunks
6.5 tablespoon (81 gm) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
Finely grated zest of about 2 medium large oranges
2 teaspoon limoncello (optional)
1. Cube the fruits.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss together so all fruit chunks are well coated.
3. Allow to stand for 15 to 30 minutes, so that the fruit softens.
Then use in the filling.
This sugar maceration will help the juice release some juices. This helps the fruit texture to be just perfect after baking - neither too chunky, nor too soft.
We do not want to cook the fruits, because they will provide the textural contrast and the fruit flavour pop against the smooth custard.
Step 5: Assembling the Pie
Now all three components of our pie are ready. We just have to assemble and bake it.
2 tablespoon (28 gm) salted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 egg white
2 teaspoon milk
1 to 2 tablespoon brown sugar
1. Grease your pie plate.
2. Roll out the bigger pie dough disk on a lightly floured surface, and gently place it on your greased pie plate.
3. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush this pie dough layer with egg whites. This prevents the baked crust from becoming soggy.
3. Mix the chilled custard with the fruit filling, along with all the released fruit juices. Tip everything into your pie plate.
4. Cut small chunks of the 2 tablespoons of butter, and place randomly on the entire filling.
5. Now, roll the other pie dough disk into a circle, and cut away a quarter of the circle, to form a three quarter circle. (You can use this rolled pie dough to make a lattice work or any other design you prefer for your pie’s top).
6. Using the quarter circle which you’ve cut away, cut out numbers and alphabets to form the formulae “3πr²/4” (THE MATHEMATICAL FORMULA FOR THREE QUARTERS OF A CIRCLE) and “πr²/4” (THE MATHEMATICAL FORMULA FOR A QUARTER OF A CIRCLE, called a Quadrant). You can use cookie cutters or a simple pairing knife for this.
7. You can also color the dough for cutting out the formulae, using food coloring, if you wish. I prefer the natural color, so I did not use food coloring.
8. Place the three quarter circle on the filling, and place the three quarter circle formula on it. Place the quadrant formula on the exposed, uncovered filling, to denote the negative space as a quadrant.
9. Add the 2 teaspoon milk to the egg whites and brush the top of the pie with it. Then, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoon brown sugar over the pie. The brown sugar caramelizes while baking, gives a lovely color and a wonderful crunch.
10. Remove the excess dough from the rim of the pie, and tuck in the top pie dough’s rim with the bottom dough. Using a tines of a fork, seal the rim.
The pie is ready to bake.
Step 6: Bake, Cool and Serve! :)
1. BAKE - Bake the prepared pie in a preheated oven, at 350 F (180C) in a regular oven, and at 325 F (160C) in a convection oven for about 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.
If the rim of the pie starts to brown too much, cover it with aluminium foil.
2. COOL - Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before serving. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to cool completely. If you try to serve a warm pie, the filling will be runny.
3. SERVE - Serve as is, or with a scoop of vanilla bean or mango ice cream.
A truly summery, fruity, and mathematical pie - perfect for Pi Day!