Crème Brûlée Pie

November  7, 2015
10 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes One 9-inch pie
Author Notes

Brûléed vanilla custard = wonderful. Rich vanilla custard inside a buttery pie crust = amazing. Brûléed vanilla custard pie = supercrazywonderfulamazing. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons very cold, unsalted butter
  • Ice water, as needed
  • All-purpose flour, as needed
  • Egg wash, as needed
  • For the filling:
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • Superfine sugar, for finishing
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Have a 9-inch pie plate ready..
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, and salt to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it’s the size of peas. Remove the mixture and transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the pie plate, and work carefully to make sure it’s nestled all the way down to the base. Chill thoroughly: 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer is best.
  5. Dock the frozen dough all over with a fork. Place a square of parchment over the pie and fill with pie weights. Bake until just beginning to brown at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights, brush the base of the dough with egg wash, and return to the oven for 3 to 4 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F. Cool the crust completely.
  6. While the crust cools, in a small saucepan, bring the cream, vanilla bean, and 1/3 cup of the sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Let cool to room temperature, and discard the vanilla bean.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the yolks, and the salt together to combine. Pour the cream into the yolks in a steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Strain the custard into the cooled crust.
  8. Bake until the custard is set around the edges, but still noticeably jiggly in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  9. When the pie is cool, sprinkle sugar in an even layer over the pie. Brûlée the sugar with a torch until evenly melted and caramelized. Let sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa Case
    Melissa Case
  • Lynn D
    Lynn D
  • Anita KM
    Anita KM
  • Miss_Karen
  • Luci Cambria
    Luci Cambria
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

11 Reviews

Melissa C. March 4, 2023
Ho. Lee. HECK. We had friends over for dinner last night and I made this for dessert. The custard is absolute perfection: rich, creamy, dreamy. I’ve made nearly all of Erin’s pies — both published here and in The Book on Pie — and I think this is among her best (so good, I baked a second one this morning).
Lynn D. November 26, 2021
What's not to love...pie + creme brûlée? My only cooking notes would be that the ratio of filling to pie crust was a little low, so it's worth 1.5x the recipe. I also decreased the sugar in the mix as it was too sweet for my taste.
Marcypainting December 11, 2020
Loved it, be VIGILANT on jiggle at 25 minutes., a few minutes overdone likely as I forgot to check temp with thermometer. Writing in my cookbook of Erin’s every gram to ounce I googled to make after weighing. Nothing like a blow torch dessert in covid-19 quarantine 😊
Anita K. November 26, 2020
I wish the recipe also stated grams and such, for the non Americans, tablespoons to measure butter is very weird to me.
mgracelalala November 24, 2020
has anybody done this with just the broil setting in the oven? i don't have a blow torch...
Miss_Karen November 24, 2020
I haven't used the broiler method for THIS recipe, but I do make regular creme brulee from time to time. The trick is TO WATCH IT. It can go from brulee to burned in mere seconds.
Luci C. November 25, 2020
Can you make this the day before and then brûlée with the broiler before eating?
Miss_Karen November 25, 2020
Yes, as far as I know you can let the guard cool, then put it in the fridge. Do the top just before you serve it. DON'T do the topping and then put it in the fridge. The sugar will liquify & it's not pretty.
Miss_Karen November 25, 2020
* custard not guard. Gotta love auto incorrect🙄
lmh_Lilly December 22, 2020
you likely could but I did the same with a creme brulee cheesecake and the edges of the crust burnt. The same would likely happen here.
pamela January 31, 2016
excellent pie