I think everyone has at least one relative with the nostalgic recipe for this creamy goodness in a flaky crust. Problem is, they never want to cough up the secret! Well, worry no more, because I'm letting the proverbial cat out of the bag, revealing the secret to a great, and easy, custard pie! Wow your family and friends during the holidays with this classic confection.
Cara's Classic Custard Pie
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 frozen pie crust
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Allow your pie crust to thaw before partially baking. Partial baking before adding the custard ensures the crust stays crisp and flaky, not gummy. Weigh down the pie crust by adding pie weights over foil or parchment paper (you can use uncooked beans or uncooked rice if you don't have any pie weights). Bake crust on middle rack for about 20 minutes, or until foil or parchment paper lifts cleanly from crust. When crust is partially baked, allow it to cool and set your oven to 350 degrees to cook the custard. Yeah I know, it's not a home made crust, but hey, I said it was easy. Trust me, it's a crowd pleaser!
During this time, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside. Scald (aka: bring to almost a boil) the milk over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Be sure to TEMPER the milk into the egg mixture, so you don't end up with scrambled eggs. The mixture will be thin.
When crust is partially baked and cooled, pour in custard. TIP: I like to keep the pie on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper, that way the pie is easier to move and any spills will be caught by the sheet pan. Gently move pie into the oven (remember, the custard is thin!) on middle rack, and back for 40-45 minutes. Checking for doneness is as easy as the Jello theory. Move the pie a little, and if it's got a Jello style jiggle, it's ready to take out of the oven. Remember, even though it's done baking, the custard still needs to set. The pie might look underdone, but trust me, don't over bake it. Let the pie set out of the oven for maximum creaminess!
Allow the pie to cool, set, and let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Garnish with an extra sprinkling of ground nutmeg, if you'd like, but don't go overboard.
Make this timeless dessert and you'll be the hero of the holiday feast! It doesn't have to stop there, this recipe is so easy, you can make it year round to enjoy!