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Traditional Southern Egg Custard Pie

4.86 from 42 votes

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!

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

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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.

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


This post contains affiliate links. Lana’s Cooking is reader-supported and earns a tiny commission at no extra cost to you when you shop from our links.

  • 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 Milk – Do not substitute lower fat milk for the recipe. If anything, go higher fat with half and half or cream.
  • Ground Nutmeg – Make 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.

👉 PRO TIP: 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.

👉 PRO TIP: 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.

👉 PRO TIP: 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.

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 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 42 votes
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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 35-40 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.
  • 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 healthcare 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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Recipe Rating




107 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Like my Mom used to make.

  2. Shelly Johnson says:

    3 stars
    I just made this recipe. It seems a little eggy… Any reason why?

    1. Hi Shelly. I’m not sure there’s a good answer to your comment. It’s “egg” custard.

  3. My mom used to put stewed dry peaches/apricots on the crust and then cover with egg custard…tart and sweet, delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a bunch of times and love it. My question is could you add blueberries to it to make a blueberry custard pie? I didn’t know if I could just add in blueberries or would I have to change any other ingredients?

    1. Hi Donna. I’ve never tried adding fruit to this pie so I can’t say whether it would work. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

  5. I followed the directions precisely.l. At the end of 35 min, it was still runny. I added another 10 – same results. So I lowered the temp to 350 and continued to bake it 10 minutes at a time x2. I’ve made this pie by another recipe that I could not find, but have NEVER had this problem. My other recipe called for 350 for an hour. This worked for me….not this recipe. And the nutmeg pooled together in one blob, I think because of the high temp of the oven. Never had that happen either. It didn’t make a pretty pie as it should. I won’t use this recipe again.

    1. I’m sorry you had a problem with the recipe, Judy. It’s really strange – I’ve been using this recipe for decades and it always turns out perfectly.

    2. I had the exact same issue. Took it out at 35 mins, covered with foil, and returned for half an hour. I’m suspecting the author has a convection oven and this recipe is with a fan.

      My dad always did it at 325 for an hour as well—I should’ve gone with my gut on this one!

  6. Amy Joseph says:

    5 stars
    I made the Egg Custard Pie on Good Friday and it was gone within a day. I follow your recipe to the letter and it came out perfect. This is the recipe i have been looking for. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS !!!!! It is my keeper.

  7. 5 stars
    This pie was DELICIOUS and my whole family agrees. I had to cook another 20 min for the middle to set, but my oven is older. Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely make this again!

  8. Shannon Minnich says:

    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!

  9. love love love this scumpous custard its so close to my grandmother’s I always loved the holidays when she made it.

  10. Amy Joseph says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for this simple recipe. I’m making this for the holidays because i love this pie.

  11. Nathan Gilpin Sr says:

    thank you for this simple but great recipe. I gave up making my own pie crust, but when I do I use lard.
    The Pillsbury pre-formed are good now. I make my Grandmothers milk pie and shoo fly also.
    Thanks again

    1. You’re very welcome, Nathan. And I agree that the Pillsbury pie crusts are excellent and quite convenient, too.

    2. 5 stars
      Perfect. Easy and delicious. Thank you.

  12. One of my two favorite pies! The other is sour cherry. I haven’t made this in years, and I’ve lost my grandmother’s recipe, but this seems similar. I’m a good pie crust maker, so I will try this with my all butter crust. Thanks for this heritage recipe!

  13. Pat Colby says:

    Lana I grew up in South Georgia too (Baker and Miller County) and this was my father’s favorite pie. Don’t know that recipe is same because Mama never wrote it down. Oh how I wish I had some of those old recipes. I don’t do much cooking anymore especially baking but when I did, like you, pie crust was never easy to make until I found one using boiling water in a Southern Cooking cookbook by Mrs. S.R. Dull. Copyright was in Atlanta, Georgia, 1928 and 1941. It was a gift sometime around 1960. Don’t know if it is still around. I use frozen now too.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I have Mrs. Dull’s cookbook and it’s great even though it’s a bit hard to follow. I’ll have to look for that pie crust recipe in it :-)

  14. Am making this for New Years Eve and so used egg nog instead of milk. Fingers crossed.

  15. I made this with duck eggs, most of them were smallish for duck eggs. I used my blender & it was full (5 cups) before I could get all the milk in! had 3 custard cups left over after filling a 9″ deep dish frozen pie crust. Hopefully this will work out with less milk

  16. lisaiscooking says:

    Thanks for linking to the Blueberry Custard Pie! Your Egg Custard Pie looks amazing.

  17. That’s the pie on which we grew up. We made it lots and lots of times. The beauty was that even crazy kids could make the thing, and it would turn out beautifully and taste great. Still is the beauty of the pie.

    I have the same inappropriate disdain for pie crust. Not only do I not make the stuff, I really don’t care for the taste. So, get one of those “roll it out” crusts out of the refrigerated section, and put it in a really good looking pie plate. It looks homemade, and folks who like the crust think that you went to great trouble.

    Miss P

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. I made this pie tonight. It’s easy and delicious!!!

  22. 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.

    1. Lana Stuart 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.

  23. 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?

    1. Lana Stuart 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.

  24. 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 !!

    1. Lana Stuart 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 :-)

  25. 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 !!! :-)

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I’m so glad to know that you enjoyed it, Tammy! It always reminds me of my childhood.

  26. 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!

  27. 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 :)

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You definitely want to use whole milk for this pie, Hanah. Hope it turns out good for you!

  28. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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!

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. A wonderful tip about skipping the scalding…makes it a much easier dessert to whip up!

  33. Fuji Mama 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!!

    1. 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 :-)

  34. Heather Davis says:

    Three words: yum, yum, yum :)

  35. Priscilla-She's Cookin' says:

    I’m loving your heritage recipes! Good ‘ole southern food speaks to my roots – and my tummy :) Keep ’em comin’.

  36. 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. :)

    1. Yes! That’s correct, Lillian. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll correct the post for the oven temp.

  37. Diane {Created by Diane} says:

    that pie is SHOUTING for me :)

  38. Hi Lana,

    The pie looks amazing! Can 2% milk be used and get the same effect as whole milk?

    1. Shunti – It would probably be close. However, you don’t get the *exact* same result with 2% since the fat content is lower.

  39. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective says:

    YUM. This topped with fresh berries and I’d be in heaven!

    1. I think blackberries would be especially lovely with this pie :-)

  40. 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.

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Sarah.

  41. Zesty Cook says:

    I bet this is delicious and not too sweet (my preference)….there is nothing like whole milk in a recipe, sometimes reduced fat just won’t cut it!

    1. You’re so right! Sometimes you just have to use the whole milk to get the smoothest, richest result.

  42. foodwanderings says:

    I absolutely adore custards of all sorts. You got it down to a science here Lana. BTW you are my kind of alady I don’t lik emy desserts too sweet either!

    1. 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.

  43. This looks beautiful! reminds me of a pie my grandma used to make.

  44. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I never had an egg custard pie before…but I’m with Jessica. Yours I want to try! This looks fabulous, Lana. Creamy and dreamy:)

  45. 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!

    1. That’s a new one on me, Glinda! But it sure does sound interesting. Never heard of three-story pie before.

  46. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. says:

    sounds terrific! great post as always

  47. This looks really delicious!

  48. Such a lovely pie – this would be a winner with everyone I know!
    Mary x

  49. 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!

  50. Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips 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! :-)

    1. You’re welcome, Jessica. Hope you enjoy it.

  51. Rachel Willen@Foodfix 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….

    1. Thank you, Rachel. I enjoy using those little red and white plates :-)

  52. Lindsay @ Schnoodle Soup says:

    I guess it’s because I’m from Massachusetts, but I’ve never heard of an egg custard pie. I’d probably love it, though! Your photo sells it :smile:

  53. 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!

    1. This is somewhat similar to a chess pie, except that it’s much, much less sweet. I think that’s why I prefer the egg custard.

  54. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon says:

    Everything about this pie is lovely.

  55. Maris (In Good Taste) says:

    This looks wonderful! I was supposed to go to South Carolina this weekend but it fell through so maybe I’ll channel the trip with some Southern style cooking!

    1. Good idea, Maris. I can help you out with some more Southern recipes if you need them :-)

  56. This looks really tasty. I love egg custard!

    1. I think most people do like egg custard, Curt. It has a really comforting quality about it.

  57. Tien Douglas says:

    It looks like comfort food to me. I would like a slice please, Tien

  58. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Lucious and creamy sounds great to me! This reminds me of a pie my mom used to make when I was younger.

  59. claudia lamascolo says:

    This looks heavenly Lana love the custard and photo is perfect!

  60. 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….

  61. Rachel@Time for Good Food says:

    Egg custard pie is my papa’s favorite — so it’s always on the dessert table at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love it, too. I also love it’s cousin – buttermilk pie! :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. I haven’t had a buttermilk pie in ages! Need to find a good recipe for that one. Thanks for reminding me.

  62. Feast on the Cheap says:

    Sounds absolutely delicious – I’m loving all the Southern recipes!

    1. Thanks! I’m loving sharing them. I’d be happy to do “requests” if you have one.

  63. Angela FRS says:

    I love custard pies–this looks beautiful, and I love the little “side treats” for the cook.

  64. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    My first neighbor in North Carolina made an egg custard pie for us. That was more than 25 years ago. Sounds heritage to me. Loved it then, still love it today.

    1. Me, too, Barbara. Amazing that something so delicious can result from the most ordinary of pantry and refrigerator staples.

  65. Mari @ Mari's Cakes says:

    I am sure I’ll love this, it looks wonderful, delicious and irresistible!

    Have a great week :)

  66. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet says:

    I want!!! Your pie looks AAHHHH MAZING!! Yum!

    1. Thanks, Heather. It’s been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember.

  67. I love that treat! Your pie looks gorgeous.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    1. I love those little treats, too, Rosa.