Custard PieDo you know what the secret to custard pie is?  Me either.  But, thanks to one of my really old cookbooks, I now know.

Well, truth be told, I do not know if I trust this book as accurate, since the book it came from is clearly promoting Crisco, so I think the author may have been a bit biased.  Chances are, though, that it makes a pretty gosh-darn cook pie!

So, according to my book, the secret of great custard pie is two fold: An unsoaked crust, and a smooth, velvety filling.

I can’t honestly say I knew what an unsoaked crust was before reading this book.  Now I understand that it means the crust stays firm while cooking, instead of soaking up the pie batter.  I’m learning more and more about how to cook every day!  According to my book, the way to prevent having a soggy pie crust is to:

  1. Brush melted Crisco or a beaten egg white onto the bottom of the pie crust.
  2. Use scalding milk, and to pour warm pie filling into the crust before baking it.
  3. Preheat the oven, so the pie goes straight into a hot oven.  Lower the temperature after putting the pie in.

As for the smooth filling, you can prevent your custard from breaking apart by doing the following:

  1. Bake your pie slowly.  Bake it at the high temperature for the first 10 minutes to set the crust, then reduce it for the remainder of the cooking time.
  2. Take the pie out of the oven as soon as it is done baking.  You can test it for doneness by inserting a knife into the custard.  If it comes out clean, it is done.  If custard clings to the knife, cook it a bit longer.
  3. Use evaporated milk that has been diluted with water for a more velvety filling, instead of using refrigerated milk.

Want a vintage recipe to go along with the above advice?  I’ve got one for you:

This old custard recipe comes from the “Cooking Hints and Tested Recipes” book by Winifred S. Carter, and was published in 1937.  Like I said, I’m pretty sure this was written for Crisco.  Many thanks to Ms. Carter for sharing the secret to custard pie.

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