Egg Custard Pie

It seems that I’ve been on a roll lately with the “heritage” recipes. That delicious lacy cornbread last week and now today I have one of my favorite childhood desserts for you – Egg Custard Pie. I’m not absolutely certain that this pie is strictly a Southern heritage recipe, but it seems so to me.  Maybe that’s just because it has always been one of my favorites.

Now, if you’re looking for one of those “mile high” type pies that’s rich and extra sweet, then this pie is not for you. But if you want a luscious, creamy treat that is perfect after any meal, I have your recipe right here. This is really nothing more than egg custard baked in a pie crust. It has the richness of whole milk and eggs and the perfume of a dusting of nutmeg but it is not overly sweet. If I had to choose my favorite pie, it would be difficult to choose between this one and a coconut meringue, but I think the egg custard would win.

This is the simplest recipe that I know for egg custard. Lots of recipes require the milk to be scalded and gradually beaten into the egg and sugar mixture and I’ve made it that way many, many times. But, I have also found that it doesn’t make much difference at all whether the milk is scalded or just added right into the eggs and sugar. I can’t tell the difference in the finished pie and skipping that scalding step makes this recipe go so quickly. I’m all for fewer steps and less time making dessert. In fact, you can make this pie up in less than five minutes, pop it in the oven and have a lovely dessert baking away while you cook dinner.

Prepping crust for Egg Custard Pie

Start by preparing the pie crust. Now I won’t go into it all over again, but just suffice it to say that homemade pie crusts and I are not friends. We’re barely on speaking terms. Homemade pie crust hates me and the feeling is pretty much mutual. So, I’ll start with a frozen crust which I have thawed according to its package directions. Prick the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Lightly beat an egg white and brush it all over the unbaked crust. The egg white will help keep the crust from becoming soggy.

And for some reason, I always think egg custard is best in a regular crust instead of a deep dish. It just seems more old-fashioned and that fits perfectly with this pie.

Mixing ingredients for egg custard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the crust aside while you prepare the custard. In a medium bowl, add the beaten eggs and egg yolk, the sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix those together a little and then whisk in the milk.

Egg Custard Pie ready for the oven

Put the prepared crust on a baking sheet and then pour the custard into the crust. You will probably have a bit left over just like I did. You can cook that up in two little custard cups. It makes two delicious little treats for the cook :-)  Dust the top of the pie and custard cups with nutmeg.

Carefully place the baking tray into the oven and let the pie cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Check to see if your pie is ready by inserting a knife near the center. If it comes out clean, you’re all set.

Egg Custard Pie cooling

Remove the pie (and custard cups if you used them) to a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature and refrigerate any leftovers. Occasionally I serve a spoonful of very lightly sweetened whipped cream alongside my Egg Custard Pie, but I think it’s really perfect all by itself.

Enjoy!

Egg Custard Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Old-fashioned egg custard pie with a dusting of nutmeg.
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 whole eggs plus one egg yolk, beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. If using a frozen pie crust, allow it to thaw at room temperature according to its package directions.
  2. Prick the crust all over with the tines of a fork.
  3. Brush thoroughly with beaten egg white. This helps prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  4. Set the crust aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. In a medium bowl, add the beaten eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat together.
  7. Using a wire whisk, add the milk.
  8. Place the prepared pie crust on a baking sheet.
  9. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the pie crust filling baking cups with any excess mixture.
  10. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  13. May be served either cold or at room temperature.
Notes
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Comments

  1. says

    this and chess pie reminds me of my great grandmother in Tenn… always loved going up there for her homemade breads and desserts…
    hey, I all for the ease of things too, glad to know about the scalding… reckon it’s the same with caramel??? naught might try that, I am so bad about ruining a good thing….

  2. says

    I’ve had chess pie but not egg custard. This looks so easy to whip up and a nice complement to the more traditional pies that sit on the Thanksgiving table. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. says

    The pie does look so “heritage” with that darling plate and placemat…you have set the mood nicely for that! I love egg custards from pot au creme to creme brulee, so I think this will be amazing! Thanks….

  4. says

    I am always SO leery of people’s egg custard pie recipes, but YOU I trust!!!! This looks perfect in the photos, it looks like EXACTLY how I dream of the pie I want to consume to look. And since it’s coming from you the recipe I trust completely!!!

    Oh sweet baby jesus I think I can finally make a egg custard pie!!!!

    Thank you! :-)

  5. says

    This is the pie for me! We all love baked custard and I love it in a pie. Just really perfect. Like so many other commenters, I know I have eaten something like this long ago and just hearing the name and looking at the photos pricks a memory. I love it!

  6. Glinda Parmer says

    Lana, my maternal grandmother dressed this up a bit and it was my favorite dessert. She called it a three story pie. She put stewed dried apples in the bottom of the pie plate, then poured egg custard over that and baked it. Finally, she added a meringue on top for the third story! Oh, my that was southern Alabama and just delicious!

    • says

      I think that’s the reason that I really don’t eat desserts that often – I don’t like anything too sweet. This pie has such a mild, slightly sweet taste so it’s one that I do enjoy.

  7. says

    Thanks for this, been looking for a long time to find a recipe like this. I don’t mind even if it’s not “Southern heritage” it looks great. Can’t wait to give it a try this weekend.

  8. Lillian says

    Love the recipe but I don’t see a oven temp. I made it today at 400 I hope it comes out okay. We’ll see after dinner. :)

  9. says

    I am all for taking shortcuts that make sense, and skipping the scalding to make the custard makes so much sense that it’s hard to argue against NOT making this amazing looking pie!!

    • says

      And another thing that skipping the scalding does is that you never risk getting that scrambled egg taste in the cooked custard. It’s a win-win for me :-)

  10. says

    I grew up on egg custard! I loved it and no one’s made it in ages! It’s weird how as a society we cycle through food like fashions. I must make egg custard this year!

  11. Cheryl says

    I made this pie today, and it is delicious. I remember my great-grandmother making custard pies in her wood-burning stove. Luckily, mine is electric, but the pie tastes just like hers did. Some egg custard pies are too watery, but your recipe is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Vicky says

    I am looking for a recipe for crustless egg custard pie. Do you happen to know of a recipe.
    Thanks, Vicky

    • says

      Hi Vicky – I’ve never made a crustless egg custard pie so I did a quick Google search and it turned up over 22,000 recipes for that! However, I can’t vouch for any of them. Good luck finding just the right recipe!

  13. Kelly says

    This tastes awful. I made this and it was too eggy tasting. I followed the recipe and thought from all the ‘oh this is awesome’ comments, that it was going to be amazing…. no.

    • says

      I’m so sorry you didn’t like the recipe, Kelly. I make it quite often and we always enjoy it. It is, after all, an “egg” custard so it will taste of eggs. Maybe you were expecting something else.

  14. Hanah Loveday says

    Found this recipe on pinterest and I’m so excited to make it! I’ve tried egg custard pies before without scalding the milk, but I used skim milk…it turned out exactly like sweet scrambled eggs….blech! Is it the fat content of the milk that makes this custard smooth? I don’t want a repeat of last time. Lol. Thanks :)

  15. becky says

    Ok out of all the recipes i found for egg custard pie i am
    Using yours for my very first attempt. My husbsnd is taking
    One of them to the radio station where they will probably
    Critique it on the air. He is a guest on the morning show anf
    The host who is his friend commented on a recipe my husband
    Posted for egg custard pie…fingers crossed it turns out
    Good!! I followed the recipe and directions!! We shall see!

  16. Tammy says

    I came across this recipe searching for an egg custard pie to make for my husband. THIS IS THE BEST EGG CUSTARD PIE I HAVE EVER MADE. My husband is begging me to make another this weekend. . . Due to the fact, the one I made yesterday has been devoured. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE !!! :-)

  17. Tammy says

    It’s me again, Tammy, I have now made this pie several times for friends and family. They absolutely Love it. I just wanted you to know I have shared your recipe with lots of loved ones. Thanks again for this wonderful recipe. Have a blessed day !!

    • says

      So happy your family likes the recipe, Tammy! You’ve reminded me that I haven’t made one of these pies in quite a while. We just might have it for dessert tonight :-)

  18. Lisa says

    I made this pie using a recipe identical to yours (though I found it on another site). I followed the recipe to the letter, but the filling didn’t set up. Do you have any idea what might have gone wrong?

    • says

      I can’t imagine, Lisa. I’ve made this pie hundreds of time in my life and never had that problem. The only possibility I can think of would be if you just didn’t cook it long enough or if your oven temperature was way too low.

  19. Nikki says

    I made this today. I did NOT scald the milk and my pie still did not turn out smooth! It was like scrambled eggs. I also had my oven set at 400 but I had to cook it for about 1 hr before the knife came out clean. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you. I did use 2% milk if that had anything to do with it.

    • says

      Nikki – unless I was right there in the kitchen with you when you were making the pie, it’s really hard to say what went wrong. Two things to check are that you beat the eggs thoroughly so that the yolks and white were very well mixed and that you used whole milk. I’m not sure 2% would have quite enough for a proper custard. Also, check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. It could be off.

  20. Tricia says

    This is by far the best egg custard pie I have made. It was scrumptious. I will use this recipe from this day forward. Thanks for posting this on your website. Oh and I love your website. Keep up the good works.

  21. Tricia says

    Maybe some of you have used 2% milk or lactaid milk, but I have never had the recipes to turn out right using them. I also put the pies in a pan of water while cooking. It seems to make the custard much more creamier.

  22. Patricia says

    Made this pie and it turned out delicious. I have tried using lactose free and 2% milk but the pies have not turned out very well compared to using whole milk. I also use the deep dish pie crust, put the pie into a shallow pan and add water to the pan while it is cooking. Love this recipe. Thanks for the great recipe.

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