Creamy Lemon Custard Pie

March 24, 2020
Author Notes

While I love the tart/sweet combination of a classic lemon meringue pie, I really enjoy adding a touch of creaminess into the mix. Enter, this insanely delicious (and still nicely sour) lemon custard filling. Bake until it’s set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center—it will continue to set to a perfect sliceable consistency as it cools. Adapted from my upcoming book, The Book on Pie. Here is the recipe for the All-Buttah Pie Dough and for the Swiss Meringue. —Erin McDowell

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Creamy Lemon Custard Pie
  • Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
  • 1 recipe All Buttah Pie Dough for a single crust pie (linked in Author Notes)
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups (339 grams) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) buttermilk
  • 2 large (113 grams) eggs
  • 3 large (64 grams) egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil or lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 recipe Swiss Meringue (linked in Author Notes)
In This Recipe
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a round about ¼ inch thick. Use the rolling pin to gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the excess dough so that there’s about ½ inch all the way around the outside edge. Tuck the dough under itself all the way around the pie. Crimp as desired. Dock the base and sides of the crust with a fork. Chill the pie crust for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Towards the end of chill time, heat the oven to 425°F, with an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Cut a piece of parchment paper that’s a bit larger than the pie plate and place it over the chilled pie crust. Fill it with pie weights (or dry beans) to the top edge of the pan.
  3. Transfer the pie crust to the oven and bake until it begins to brown (only lightly) around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven, and carefully remove the pie weights by using the parchment edges as “handles” to lift them out (I usually set the parchment and weights into a metal bowl to cool completely).
  4. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the base of the pie appears dry and set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  5. Heat the oven to 350°F (still with the rack in the lower third of the oven). Place the cooled shell on a baking sheet.
  6. In a medium bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together. Add the cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add the milk, buttermilk, eggs, and egg yolks and whisk well to combine. Add the lemon juice, lemon oil/extract, vanilla, and salt and whisk to combine.
  7. Gently pour the custard into the prepared pie crust. Bake until the pie appears set at the edges but is still slightly jiggly in the center, 45 to 50 minutes.
  8. Cool completely to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 24 hours). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  9. When ready to serve, prepare the meringue and pipe or spoon it onto the pie. If desired, toast the meringue with a torch.

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I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.