Earl Grey Pie - A fantastic variation on a custard pie. Feel free to use a commercial pie crust to make this, if so desired.
Originally Posted March 14, 2017. Updated 3/16/2021
As I wrote at the time:
Well, first thing that came to mind was a long string of expletives - for the first time since we've met (and I'm including the year following the tornado that destroyed - among other things - our kitchen!), I've completely forgotten about Pi Day!
IN my defense, I've been swamped with development for More Than Poutine.
This month has been ALL about developing recipes for Canadian junk food; most recently, that's meant snack cakes. There is sugar everywhere, I can't picture having added a pie in on top of everything.
Not even so much as a share of my big "Pi Day is Coming, Are you Ready?" master list of Pi Day stuff. Kinda feeling like the worst wife AND worst nerdy blogger ever - I really dropped the 4/3πr^3 on that one!
Thankfully, his workplace is taking care of his pi day needs that I so woefully neglected, but I still feel bad. So, as my mea culpa to the universe, I will share my Earl Grey Pie recipe now!
Pi Day, 2021
Flash forward to a few days ago. I rolled out of bed, deciding to let him sleep in.
I heated a mug of bone broth (my recent habit!), and sat down to my computer to flip through Facebook for a while.
... and “On this Day” immediately reminded me that it was Pi Day.
Sure, time hasn’t meant much this past year, but that familiar guilt of forgetting set in.
So, after some quick decision making (mailing it in and just buy a premade pie, making one wholly from scratch, or going half way with a premade crust), I headed to the grocery store for ingredients.
I HALF mailed it in - I bought a premade crust - but figured I’d use the opportunity to do up this recipe for you!
We served it for some friends, and one of them - Derek - was almost in tears as he declared that "Everything is perfect with the world" after the first bite.
When another friend joined us later, Derek told her that when she tries the pie, "The gates of heaven will open, and you will see everything".
So. That happened.
I hope you enjoy this pie as much as Derek did! (And everyone else, really... his reaction was just amazing though! )
This recipe uses super simple ingredients that you should be able to find in any grocery store.
A few notes for you:
The Pie Crust
You will need a single pie crust for this recipe, and you can really use whatever you like.
Anyway, my usual go-to pie crust recipe is my Great-Uncle Tom's Perfect Pie Crust Recipe, which I HIGHLY recommend - each to make, with fantastic, flaky results!
Either way, sometimes I’ll mix a bit of lemon zest - fresh or dried - into the dry ingredients when making pie crust for this recipe, specifically.
That said, you can use any single pie crust recipe - or store bought crust - that you like!
Earl Grey Tea
The flavour in this pie comes from steeping tea into the milk/cream mixture that will become the custard.
Use a nice quality tea, one that you like to drink. Full caffeine or decaf makes no difference.
That said, you can use any tea flavour at all that you think would work well as a creamy custard - this recipe is particularly nice using Stash's Red Dragon Chai, or any chai blend.
The spice works really well with the creamy texture!
Rounding out this recipe, you will need:
Heavy Cream / Heavy Whipping Cream / Whipping Cream
.... I just don’t really have anything to add, as far as these ingredients go!
How to Make Earl Grey Pie
Prepare and bake your pie crust according to recipe or package instructions. I recommend blind baking it, to hold its shape - see Perfect Pie Crust Recipe for details on blind baking.
Note: Despite blind baking it, this store bought crust still shrunk!
Whisk eggs together with sugar until fluffy and pale yellow.
Add cornstarch and salt, whisk until incorporated and smooth. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream just to the start of a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, steep for 15 minutes.
Measure about ¼ cup of the hot cream mixture, and stream slowly into egg mixture while whisking.
Continue streaming liquid and whisking until it is completely incorporated, and mixture is smooth. Repeat with another ¼ cup of hot cream.
Once fully incorporated and smooth, return to heat. Turn heat to medium-low.
Continue whisking mixture constantly, cooking until mixture is very thick AND smooth - it may go through a lumpy stage first.
Spoon filling into prepared crust, cover with plastic wrap. Chill until set, about 3 hours.
To serve, top with whipped cream.
A Note on the Whipped Cream
While it’s easiest to just add whipped cream as you’re serving it, I like piling stabilized whipped cream on the cooled custard, and chilling it for a few hours.
It’s slightly more work, and yields a gorgeous, thick, mousse-like whipped cream, that cuts cleanly - almost like a meringue!
To make stabilized whipped cream:
- In a small, heat safe bowl, Mix 2 teaspoon / 1 packet of unflavoured gelatin with 2 tablespoon water, and allow to sit for 5 minutes, or until gelled.
- Pour 1 ½ - 2 cups heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer, along with 2 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Whip cream until soft and pillowy.
- As you’re whipping the cream, heat the gelatin for 10-20 seconds in the microwave, until liquified.
- Once the whipped cream is as thick as you like it, pour the melted gelatin into the bowl, and gently fold in to combine.
- Pile on top of your pie, chill for about 3 hours.
Looking for More Pie Recipes?
Pies, tarts... good stuff put into a flaky crust. I've got you!
Note: All recipes designated as gluten-free can alternately be made "regular" - just swap in your favourite pie crust recipe or store bought crust!
Caramel Apple Pie
Creamy Blueberry Amaretto Pie
Easter No-Bake Chocolate Pie
Gluten Free Apple Pie
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten Free Pie Crust
Maple Butter Tarts
Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
Reese's Peanut Butter Pie
Savoury Alligator Pie
Southern Comfort Peach Pie
Southern Comfort Pecan Pie
Strawberry Grand Marnier Chiffon Pie
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Earl Grey Pie
- Pie crust of your choice Ready made or recipe
- 2 Large Eggs
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Corn Starch
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 3 Earl Grey Tea Bags
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- Whipped Cream For Serving
- Prepare and bake your pie crust according to recipe or package instructions.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the filling.
- Whisk eggs together with sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. Add cornstarch and salt, whisk until incorporated and smooth. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream just to the start of a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out excess liquid back into the pot. Bring cream up JUST to a boil once again.
- Measure about ¼ cup of the hot cream mixture, and stream slowly into egg mixture while whisking. Continue streaming liquid and whisking until it is completely incorporated, and mixture is smooth. Repeat with another ¼ cup of hot cream.
- Remove saucepan from heat, pour remaining egg mixture into cream mixture, whisking constantly. Once fully incorporated and smooth, return to heat. Turn heat to medium-low. Continue whisking mixture constantly, cooking until mixture is very thick. Remove from heat, stir in butter until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- Spoon filling into prepared crust, cover with plastic wrap. Chill until set, about 3 hours. To serve, top with whipped cream.