This classic egg custard pie is the perfect blend of eggs, milk and nutmeg. Feel free to use the homemade pastry and instructions below, or use a frozen pie shell or refrigerated pie pastry. Homemade pie shells are great, but ready-made crusts are excellent if you aren't into making pastry or just don't have the time.
We recommend partially baking the pie shell before filling. Your crust will have a better bake and will be less soggy. If you don't have pie weights, use dried beans or raw rice.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 1 (scant) teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons chilled butter (cut in small pieces)
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground (or fresh grated nutmeg)
- Put the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Add half of the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times. Add the remaining butter and pulse 6 times. The mixture should look crumbly with visible large pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of ice water over the flour mixture and pulse a few times. Add more ice water, a teaspoon at a time, until the mixture begins to form small clumps. When you press a small amount in your hand, it will hold together.
- Transfer the mixture to a floured surface and - without kneading too much - shape into a flattened disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Roll the chilled dough out on a floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Check frequently for sticking and add more flour to the surface, as needed.
- Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Cut away excess overhang and crimp the edge as desired.
- Refrigerate the pie shell if you won't be par-baking it immediately.
- Heat the oven to 425 F.
- Line the pie shell with foil and fill it at least two-thirds full with pie weights or dried beans.
- Place it on a baking sheet and bake at 425 F for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 3 minutes. If there are bubbles in the crust, press them down gently; do not prick them.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 400 F.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat just until hot and bubbles begin to appear around the edges.
- In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer or whisk, beat the eggs with the 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, nutmeg, and the vanilla.
- Gradually whisk in the hot milk.
- Pour the filling into partially baked pie shell. Cover the edge of the pie shell with a pie shield or homemade foil ring.
- Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes and then remove the pie shield. Bake for about 15 minutes longer, or until the pie is set. A knife inserted near the center of the pie should come out clean.
- Cool on a rack.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
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