Saturday, October 22, 2011

Egg Custard Pie by Moody's Diner

Ever overbuy on a particular ingredient and then run out of time to use it?  I'm surprised at how many bunches of celery I have, or butter (I have at 8 pounds of butter most times), and eggs and milk.  It's like every time I go to the grocery store, these items jump into my cart and follow me home.

This week, I had two dozen eggs I had to use.  I get hinky when foods get close to their sell-by date, (I know that's not the same as expiration date, but nevertheless, for me it's use it or lose it) and that prompts me to pore through my cookbooks, which lead me to custard pie. 

I cannot tell you the last time I had a custard pie ~ probably when my own beloved grandmother made them decades ago.  When I asked Sweetie-Pi about custard pie, he had fond recollections of his grandmother's custard pies, so it must be a grandma thing, smiles. Regardless, if you have grandchildren or not, when you have plenty of eggs and milk you need to use up, and only pantry items to make dessert, you can't go wrong making this.  It goes together quickly and easily, with nothing fancy but plenty of delicious reward..

Grandmas aren't the only ones who have a reputation for their custard pies.  They seem to be a mainstay dessert of many roadside diners. I love the diner experience:  unpretentious food,  the booths with Formica topped tables and red vinyl bench seats, stools at long counter tops, chalkboard menus, and waitresses who seem to call everyone "Hon."   Here in New England, one of the better known diners is Moody's Diner, located in Waldoboro, Maine.  I haven't had the good fortune to eat there (though Sweetie-Pi claims he has when he lived in Maine, and says their deserve their renown) but I do have the good fortune of having their cookbook, What's Cooking at Moody's Diner.  When I saw their recipe, I knew it was the one I had to make.

Moody's Custard Pie
(from What's Cooking at Moody's Diner)

8 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 level tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk

In a large bowl, beat eggs with flour, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Stir in milk** and pour batter through strainer into deep 9-inch pie shell.  Bake 15 minutes at 400*F and reduce heat to 325*F and bake 25 to 30 minutes** or until pie is set.

My Notes:  This makes a lot of custard.  Even with my deep dish Pyrex pie plate, I still had probably a half a cup of custard that wouldn't fit into the pie plate. Would have made a nice single cup of custard if you wanted to take the time to cook it in a hot water bath, I think.

Do not skip straining the custard through a sieve.  It helps to smooth out the custard, removing any lumps of flour or strings of egg.

No way did this cook in the time allotted.  At the end of  30 minutes, my pie was very undercooked.  In total, I probably added another 15 minutes of cooking time.  Let me forewarn you, however.  My oven does not like to cook custard anything; I have the same issues with bread pudding.  Your best bet is to use a very thin knife at the end of 25 minutes and pierce the center of the pie.  If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done.  The center will still look wobbly, but that's fine as the pie will firm up once it's cooled completely.  Be careful not to overcook the pie as it will turn watery. 


  1. Wow, Katy, that looks awesome! I can't wait to try it.

  2. What a good looking custard husband is a big fan of custard and I don't have a good recipe.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous(and scrumptious)looking!!

  4. I love custard pies (coconut custard especially) and yours looks divine.

  5. I love custard pies Katy! Morrison's cafeteria used to have a really good one and since they closed I don't see them too often. This looks delicious Katy!

  6. Custard pie..could I beg a slice??
    Katy, that is one gorgeous photo!

  7. oh that looks amazing, i love the photo of the slice of pie, i feel like i could pull it right out of my computer!

  8. Mighty fine looking pie there, Katy. I remember custard pie from decades ago also. Thanks for reminding us of this great dessert.

  9. Stunning pie katy, i have been wanting to prepare such a filling pie for the weekend. Looks yum.

  10. I love custard pie and your's definitely looks awesome Katy. Katy, I wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog and that I'm sorry about your friend. ::hugs:: to you.

  11. That is one perfect looking custard!

  12. I only discovered recently that I love custard in all forms so I would love this.


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