Creamy old-fashioned egg custard in a simple pie shell, it doesn’t get much better or simpler than this classic silky Custard Pie that uses eggs, sugar, and milk as the main ingredients.
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Classic old-fashioned recipe
This is a classic pie recipe that has been around for hundreds of years.
Its simple traditional ingredients mean that you probably have all the stuff to make it in your kitchen right now.
I had a leftover pie crust from all my holiday baking, so I decided that this was a great time to share this simple and classic recipe!
Weather you use a homemade pie crust or a store bought one, you can make a great custard pie.
Yes, I know, homemade probably tastes way better, but I’m a lazy baker. And if you feel that strongly, I welcome you to come over and make a homemade crust for me. I’d happily eat it!
The trick to a great custard pie that doesn’t curdle and doesn’t have a soggy crust is to have both the custard and the crust hot when the pie is assembled. This allows the custard to set quickly.
For this reason, I suggest that if your crust is cold from the fridge or the freezer, you warm it slightly in the preheating oven for about 5 minutes while you prepare the filling. The egg wash will also help to create a barrier so that the custard doesn’t soak into the crust.
Remove the pie from the oven before it’s fully cooked
To prevent the filling from overcooking and turning grainy around the edges, the pie should be removed from the oven when the center is still quivery, like gelatin. The filling will continue to cook from the heat inside the pie as it sits on the counter, and it will continue to thicken as it cooks.
This is the same method I use for my favorite pumpkin pie.
Store the pie properly
Make sure to refrigerate it as soon as it has cooled to room temperature to avoid any spoilage.
Serve the pie within a day of baking, or the crust will soften. Of course, if that doesn’t bother you, the pie can be kept for up to 3 days in the fridge (if it lasts that long!).
This pie will not freeze well. Because custard is dairy based, the filling will separate if frozen.
Switch it up
Want to make a fancy vanilla bean custard pie? Simply swap the regular vanilla for (affiliate link) Vanilla Bean Paste. It makes the pie so pretty!
Can I make a small confession? I actually don’t care for nutmeg all that much. I added it to the pictures of the pie that you see here because it’s so traditional to have nutmeg on custard, but, if I made this pie for just me, I’d leave the nutmeg off. And, you can feel free to do so as well, if you’d like.
You can sub in evaporated milk instead of the whole milk, which makes this a great pantry staple recipe. Using evaporated milk will make the pie creamier and richer.
Why do you bake the pie on a cookie sheet?
I always place my pies on a cookie sheet.
It helps in case of spillage. It keeps the oven clean if the pie boils over. Or if, say for example, my clumsy arm hits the pie and spills the filling out! And, yes, that happens to me ALL the time!
Some people like to pour the custard into the pie crust right in the oven while the pie crust is on the rack.
If you can do this, my hat’s off to you! I always spill the filling making a mess and sometimes burning myself. I find it better for me if I have someone else open the oven door and I carry the filled pie to the oven on the baking sheet. But, this trick is up to you!
Looking for other great pie recipes?
I love pie. It’s easy to make and everyone loves it! And, it’s perfect to bring to a family gathering! Some of my favorites are Candy cane pie, Chocolate Crack Pie, Lemon custard pie, S’more pie, and Coconut custard pie.
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Custard Pie Recipe
- 1 pie crust homemade or pre-made
- 1 egg yolk whisked, for egg wash
- 3 large whole eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg optional
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325° F.
- If the crust is cool, warm it in the oven while the oven preheats for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, it may start to puff up, and you don’t want it to puff too much, so remove it from the oven if you see it puffing.
- Brush the crust all over with the whisked egg yolk.
- Make the filling:
- Place the whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt, in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Place the milk in a small pan, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
- Gently whisking all the while, gradually add the hot milk to the egg mixture, and immediately pour the hot custard into the warmed pie crust.
- Sprinkle the top of the custard with nutmeg, if desired.
- Carefully place the pie on a cookie sheet, and bake in the center of the oven until the custard seems set but still but still jiggles a bit, like gelatin, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack, then refrigerate. Pie can be served cold from the fridge, or at room temperature.