Custard Pie for Breakfast

I used to sneak off to a diner tucked back up in Hockinson for a slice of their freshly baked custard pie.  The servers, waitresses really, wore rubber-soled shoes and snapped their gum at me as they wrote down my order only to yell over the top of my head as they poured my coffee, “Hey Shirley, slice of custard, over here!”  I was so sad when they picked up shop and moved further North to Battleground.  That is, I was sad until this morning.

This morning I had a slice of homemade custard pie and a cup of French press coffee for breakfast, at home.  Alone.  No one snapping their gum at me or yelling over my head, just the dogs drooling beside me as I savored my breakfast.  And it was a wonderful way to start a sunny and mild December day out in the garden.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that custard pie is difficult to make like I was, for far too long.  My first attempt yielded a fantastic pie that surpassed my expectations.  The trick is to pour the custard into a warmed piecrust so the custard doesn’t get grainy and the crust doesn’t get soggy.

Custard Pie
From Joy of Cooking:  All About Pies & Tarts

Your favorite blind baked piecrust--go ahead and use store bought, I won’t judge
3 large eggs
2 to 3 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups whole milk—I used lactose free
½ to teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Warm your piecrust as you prepare the filling for approximately 10 minutes.  

Warm the 2 cups of milk over medium heat in a saucepan. 

In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt with a whisk until they just come together. 

Gently whisk the mixture as you slowly add the warm milk into it. Then pour the mixture into the warmed piecrust.  Grate the nutmeg over the top.  Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the center seems set but shivers just a little when the pan is nudged.  Mine took 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for up to 1 day. 

*I buy my nutmeg out of the bulk spice section at New Seasons to save money.  I pay roughly 40 cents per nutmeg nut. 

The Assistant adores custard pie.