Creamy Custard Pie

published Sep 17, 2021
Custard Pie Recipe
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A slice of custard pie (custard pie commonly refers to a plain mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and sometimes nutmeg combined with a pie crust)
Credit: Kelli Foster

Come fall and winter, most people jump at the chance to make apple pie and pumpkin pie. Not me, though. I’ve got my sights firmly set on custard pie. It’s a generations-old, timeless classic (maybe your grandmother made it, too!) that’s guaranteed to satisfy. This version treats you to a rich and ultra-creamy, silky-smooth custard filling, spiked with a hint of warm nutmeg baked into a buttery crust.

What Is Custard Pie?

Custard pie is made with an uncooked custard filling that’s added to a partially-baked pie crust to finish baking in the oven together. It’s typically made with a flaky pie crust, and a filling that includes milk, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and often ground nutmeg. The result is a luxuriously creamy, sweet, and lightly spiced pie filling that’s easy to adore.

Custard Pie Versus Chess Pie

  • Custard pie is a simple pie with a filling made of milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Chess pie is a type of custard pie, but includes the addition of flour or cornmeal to the batter.

4 Signs Custard Pie Is Ready to Come Out of the Oven

When custard pie is ready to come out of the oven, the filling will still look pretty jiggly. Trust me — that’s OK. Giving the pie plenty of time (think: at least three or four hours) is super important to allow it to fully set. If you cook the pie until the filling is totally set, you’ll end up with an overcooked custard. 

Here’s how to know when custard pie is ready.

  • The filling is set around the edges.
  • The center is jiggly, but not liquidy.
  • An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers about 180°F.
  • A knife inserted into the filling comes out mostly clean.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Custard Pie Recipe

This rich recipe is the perfect weekend baking project.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 7 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1

    homemade single-crust pie dough (about 10 ounces)

  • 2 cups

    whole milk

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg


  1. Crack 4 large eggs into a medium bowl and sit at room temperature while you prepare the pie crust.

  2. Place the pie dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 13-inch round. Press into a 9 to 9 1/2-inch pie plate (not deep dish) and fold the overhang underneath. Crimp as desired.

  3. Refrigerate the pie shell for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF.

  4. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil, then fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake until the edges of the crust are just starting to turn golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

  5. Remove the parchment and pie weights. The bottom of the pie will still look wet and uncooked. Bake until the bottom looks dry, another 5 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.

  6. Pour 2 cups whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat just until small bubbles form around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  7. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl of eggs and whisk until well combined. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the milk mixture and whisk until combined.

  8. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Pour the filling in the pie shell. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg evenly over the top of the pie. Cover the edges of the pie shell with a pie shield or wrap lightly with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.

  9. Bake until the custard is set at the very edges, 48 to 54 minutes. The center will still look very jiggly, loose, and uncooked. A paring knife inserted in the center should come out clean and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register about 180°F.

  10. Place the on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely, about 2 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Loosely cover the pie and refrigerate for up to 4 days.