A few nights ago, I had the urge to make a pie for dessert but I was lacking fresh or frozen fruit so I decided to go with a classic custard pie. My family likes this pie because it reminds them of another family favorite…crème brulee.
The pie is relatively simple to make once you learn how to scald milk. According to the Food Lover’s Companion Cooking Guide, scalding is a “cooking technique whereby a liquid is heated to just below the boiling point.” Before I attempted to scald milk, I watched a few videos on-line to make I understood the process.
To scald the milk, I placed the milk in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. I stirred the milk every few minutes until I started to see small bubbles form around the perimeter of the pot. Then I started stirring constantly. I tested the temperature and turned off the heat when it reached 210 degrees F. Then I set my pot outside in the cool winter air to allow the milk to cool down to 100 degrees (one of the very few benefits to cold winter days!!). When I poured the milk into the eggs and sugar mixture, there was some milk stuck to the bottom of the pot that I did not include with the ingredients.
Once all the liquid ingredients were well-combined, I poured them into the pie crust and topped the pie with freshly grated nutmeg (ground nutmeg works fine too). I had a little extra liquid so I baked it alongside the pie in a ramekin without a crust. I placed the pie on a sheet pan to prevent oven spills and set my timer!
For pie serving time, I heated a few different jars of Eckert preserves in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. The heat made the preserves thinner and easier to drizzle on the pie. We tried several different preserves in a recent cooking class at Eckert’s. The crowd favorite with the custard pie was Eckert’s Rhubarb-Raspberry Jam. This jam had just the right balance of sweet and tart to pair with the pie.
Give this pie a try and you’ll see how a simple technique results in a classic & delicious dessert. Eat well this winter, Angie
Grandma's Egg Custard Pie
1 Eckert’s frozen pie shell
1 egg white
3 eggs, beaten (preferably free range)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush inside of pie crust with egg white to help prevent crust from getting soggy. Scald milk by pouring it into a medium, heavy bottomed pot. Place pot over medium heat. Watch pot and stir periodically. Once bubbles start to form around the edges, read temperature. Milk is considered scalded when it hits just below the boiling point (The boiling point is approximately 212 degrees F). Cool milk to approximately 100 degrees before proceeding.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour milk into bowl and mix well. Pour liquid into pie crust (you may have more liquid than you need to fill the crust.) Grate nutmeg over the top of the pie. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool before serving. Store remaining pie in refrigerator after serving.
Note: Free range eggs provide more color to the custard. We recommend Miller Farm eggs.