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Traditional Southern Egg Custard Pie

Eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla with a little nutmeg make this traditional southern Egg Custard Pie a dessert loved by both kids and adults.
4.9 from 27 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Traditional southern egg custard pie on a serving board with a kitchen towel in the background.

Egg Custard Pie is one of those traditional southern heritage recipes that I love so much. It may be made from plain, simple pantry ingredients but it’s so worth getting out the fine china to serve it. Who would think that a few eggs, some sugar, vanilla, and milk could conjure up such strong childhood memories!

We all have eggs, sugar, and milk on hand pretty much all the time, right? Well, let me show you how to take those simple pantry ingredients and turn them into something extra special! Once you taste this pie, you’ll find an excuse to serve it for everything from next Saturday’s brunch to Thanksgiving dinner.

Traditional southern egg custard pie on a serving board with a kitchen towel in the background.

According to some sources, the origins of egg custard pie date back at least to the middle ages. They say it was brought here by immigrants from Europe. It has lots of variations found all over the world. I’m just glad it got here whatever path it took.

Now, if you’re looking for a “mile high” type of pie that’s overly 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.

Old fashioned southern egg custard pie has the lovely flavor 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 pick between this one and coconut meringue, but I think the egg custard would win.

❤ Why We Love This Recipe


  • You probably have all the ingredients on hand right now
  • Both children and adults love it
  • Familiar, old fashioned flavors
  • Really easy to make

🥘 Ingredient Notes


  • Unbaked Pie Crust You’ll want a regular pie crust, not a deep dish crust, for this recipe. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, please use it. I prefer the refrigerated and frozen ones available in the grocery store. Pillsbury brand is always dependable for me.
  • Whole MilkDo not substitute lower fat milk for the recipe. If anything, go higher fat with half and half or cream.
  • Ground NutmegMake sure your nutmeg is fresh for best flavor.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪How to Make Egg Custard Pie


Prepare the Pie Crust

  1. Start by preparing the pie crust. If using a frozen, crust thaw it at room temperature according to its package directions.

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 loathes me and the feeling is pretty much mutual. So, I’ll start with a frozen crust that I’ve thawed.

Thawed pie crust that has been pricked all over the bottom with a fork.
  1. Prick the crust all over with the tines of a fork.
Thawed pie crust brushed with beaten egg white.
  1. Very lightly beat an egg white and brush it all over the unbaked crust. The egg white will help keep the crust from becoming soggy.
  2. Set the crust aside.

I always think this pie is best baked in a regular shallow crust instead of a deep dish. It just seems more old-fashioned and that fits perfectly with this type of pie.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make the Custard

Medium mixing bowl holding the custard mixture. In the background are the prepared pie crust, a set of measuring spoons, vanilla extract, and milk.
  1. In a medium bowl, add the beaten eggs and egg yolk, the sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  2. Mix those together a little and then whisk in the milk.
Filled pie crust and two filled custard cups on a baking sheet.
  1. Put the prepared crust on a baking sheet.
  2. Then pour the egg mixture into the crust.

You will probably have a bit left over just like I did. I always add the extra egg mixture to two little custard cups. It makes a couple of delicious little treats for the cook :-)

  1. Lightly dust the top of the pie and custard cups with nutmeg.

Bake the Pie

  1. 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.

  1. Remove the pie (and custard cups if you used them) to a cooling rack.
  2. Serve warm or at room temperature and refrigerate any leftovers.
Traditional southern egg custard pie on a serving board with a kitchen towel in the background.

🍽 How to Serve


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.

❗ Recipe Tips


Most older recipes instruct you to scald the milk before adding it to the eggs. That’s not really necessary. However, the eggs should be at room temperature.

🔀 Variations


  • Half and half or cream can be used in place of the whole milk.

❓ Questions About Egg Custard Pie

Should the pie be refrigerated?

Just like any recipe containing eggs or dairy, this pie should be refrigerated as soon as it cools to room temperature. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Don’t you have to bake the crust before adding the filling?

It’s not necessary to pre-bake the crust. If you follow my instructions for brushing the pie shell with egg white before baking that will prevent it from getting soggy.

How do I know when the pie is done?

To test whether the pie is done, gently insert a thin knife near the center of the pie. If the knife comes out clean with no liquid clinging to it, then the pie is done. It will firm up slightly as it cools.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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📖 Recipe

Traditional southern egg custard pie on a serving board with a kitchen towel in the background.

Egg Custard Pie

Eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla with a little nutmeg make this traditional southern Egg Custard Pie a dessert loved by both kids and adults.
4.86 from 27 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten
  • 3 whole eggs plus one egg yolk beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  • If using a frozen pie crust, allow it to thaw at room temperature according to its package directions.
  • Prick the crust all over with the tines of a fork.
  • Brush thoroughly with beaten egg white. This helps prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  • Set the crust aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, add the beaten eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat together.
  • Using a wire whisk, add the milk.
  • Place the prepared pie crust on a baking sheet.
  • Pour the egg and milk mixture into the pie crust filling baking cups with any excess mixture.
  • Sprinkle the top with nutmeg.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • May be served either cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Most older recipes instruct you to scald the milk before adding it to the eggs. That’s not really necessary. However, the eggs should be at room temperature.
  • Half and half or cream can be used in place of the whole milk.
  • Just like any recipe containing eggs or dairy, this pie should be refrigerated as soon as it cools to room temperature. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • To test whether the pie is done, gently insert a thin knife near the center of the pie. If the knife comes out clean with no liquid clinging to it, then the pie is done. It will firm up slightly as it cools.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 213IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on October 17, 2011. It has been updated with additional information.

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94 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is so creamy. I made it with 2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup 1% milk. I made this for my dad and he wanted just the custard and not the pie. I reduced temp to 325F and put in a water bath. Awesome!