What Is A Custard Pie?

Sometimes when it comes to baking, you want to make something that is incredibly basic but also packs a punch in terms of sweetness and taste. 

One of the ideal choices for this is the custard pie. The problem is, not many people can define what a custard pie is and how that might differ from things like a cream pie. 

In short, a custard pie is a pie made with a custard base, eggs and sweeteners.

What Is A Custard Pie?

However, this defines a basic custard pie. Bizarrely, things like pecan pie are actually a type of custard pie due to their custard base.

As a result, we can understand that many people can get confused by this. So, we’ve written this helpful guide to explain the differences and define what exactly a custard pie is.

Read on to learn more.

Defining A Custard Pie

So, as we mentioned – a custard pie is a pie that has a custard base and is made with eggs and sweeteners, along with a liquid. 

Without adding other ingredients, this defines a plain custard pie.

However, pies like pecan pies, buttermilk pies and sweet potato pies are all types of custard pie, they are just made with extra ingredients.

Whatever type of custard pie you are making, you should have little trouble when it comes to the preparation and cooking process. They are renowned for being pretty simple, and almost anybody can make a custard pie.

Later, we will look at how you can make a custard pie. Next however, we need to differentiate from a cream pie. 

The Difference Between A Custard Pie And A Cream Pie

The largest difference between a custard pie and a cream pie is that a custard pie is made with a baked filling, whereas a cream pie does not. 

It’s easy to understand why people may get confused between the two, as they look very similar and are made almost in the same way as one another. 

There are other small differences between the two such as some of their ingredients and the cooling process, but by far the baked filling is the biggest differentiating factor.

How To Make A Custard Pie

As we said, it’s quite simple to make a custard pie. Here’s how you can make your very own custard pie at home

To Begin

Start by getting the right ingredients for both the crust and the filling, and then begin to make your crust when you are happy.

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together and then add the shortening. Continue to mix all of these together. You will notice the mixture becomes crumbly – and when this happens, it is now time to add the butter. 


It’s now time to make the dough, and you move on from the previous steps by adding a small amount of ice water and a very small amount of vinegar. This will help to hold the dough together.

Once the dough can be held together into a ball shape, you’ll want to flatten it into a plate or disc shape.

Flatten this and then wrap it in plastic wrap which then will go into the refrigerator until the flour has absorbed all the liquid.


After around 30 minutes, it will be time to take out the disc shaped dough and make this into your crust. Roll your dough into a 9” pan and then crimp around the edges to make your crust. 

Place this crust into the refrigerator while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and wait. 

Once the oven is preheated, you’ll want to place your crust in the oven for about 30 minutes until the crust is ready and golden brown. 

Bring your crust out of the oven when this is done and then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees fahrenheit. 


Using a saucepan, mix milk, salt and cream and warm the mixture up until it comes to the boil. This is a technique known as scalding and will help later. 

In a different bowl, you will mix eggs and sugar until the mixture is set. Then you will add the previous mixture into the bowl so that everything is together. 


Add some vanilla extract to the mixture just before you pour it all into the crust and then sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon on the top. 

Once all of this has been done, you should now place this uncooked pie into the oven for about 35 minutes. Ensure that the pie is cooked thoroughly and the center of the pie is 180 degrees fahrenheit. 

After you’ve removed the pie from the oven, place it somewhere safe for it to cool. Once it is safe to do so, slice your pie using a non-serrated knife and serve with cool whipped cream or ice cream. 

How Long Will Custard Pie Last?

After you have cooked your custard pie, you will need to consume it within 2 weeks if you plan to refrigerate it.

If you decide to place the custard pie into manageable slices, you can freeze them for up to three months.

However, it is imperative that you do not leave custard pie out unattended for longer than six hours.

Due to the inclusion of perishable ingredients such as eggs, milk and cream – you cannot leave them out for too long.

If you do, you may find after consuming them that you experience digestive discomfort and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. 

The Bottom Line

A custard pie is any pie that has been made with a custard base. While there are many types of custard pie, the classic version does not have any added ingredients (unlike pecan pies). 

They are quite simple to make as we have seen – so why not give it a try!

Mark Williams