This twist on a classic custard pie incorporates cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom for a little holiday season flair. It’s an easy recipe to pull together when you know guests are on their way. The pies can be served at room temperature or chilled, with or without a dollop of fresh whipped cream. This recipe makes two shallow 9-inch pies—the kind that result from using store-bought pie shells. If you make your own pie crust and use a deep pie pan, expect to only have enough filling to make one pie.
Yield: two 9-inch pies
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- two 9-inch pie shells, edges crimped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a large saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk. Warm until bubbles begin to form around the edges and steam begins to rise from the center, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool for 10 minutes.
While the milk cools, you should preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
To a medium bowl, add three of the eggs. Separate the fourth egg, adding the white to a small bowl and the yolk to the bowl with the other eggs. Use a fork to whisk the white until a little frothy, about 1 minute.
Prick the bottom of pie shells in a few places with a fork. Brush the pie shells with egg white.
Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. The egg wash will create a slight sheen over the crust.
While the pie shells bake, add the sugar to the bowl with the eggs and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the cooled, scaled milk. Whisk more vigorously to combine all ingredients and create a frothy top on the liquid. Whisk in the vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
If your milk was still a little too warm and solids formed in the egg, don’t worry. Simply strain the liquid through a mesh colander before adding it to the pie shells.
Pour half of the liquid in each of the pie shells. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the top of the custard is golden yellow. The pies should quiver only slightly when you move the pan.
Transfer to a cooling rack, and let the custard pies cool for 1 hour. Slice to enjoy at room temperature, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This article originally appeared in the Nov./Dec. 2023 issue of Chickens magazine.