Milk Tea Custard Pie

Earlier this year on Father’s Day, I shared a recipe for Hong Kong Milk Tea, my Dad’s favorite drink. As it turns out, one of my fellow blogger friends, Sue of Birgerbird ended up transforming this drink recipe into a recipe for pie, a Milk Tea Custard Pie to be exact. You read it right! And it’s just as delicious as it sounds!
Coincidentally, when it comes to pie, custard also a favorite of Dad’s. I was thrilled when Sue was nice enough to share her recipe with me. Although black tea is used to flavor the custard base, the recipe will also work well with other teas like Matcha or even Earl Grey.Sue is an award-winning pie maker, so I’m pretty sure she considers it a sin to use store-bought pie crust, but alas, that’s exactly what I did here (forgive me, Sue!). I gathered and re-rolled 2 crusts (the frozen kind) to create a thicker, more custom look to the pie. This worked out quite well for me, but by all means use a homemade pie crust if you can!
One of the tricks that I learned from Sue is to coat the bottom of the unbaked pie crust with both a flour and sugar mixture and also a brush of egg white. This helps to prevent a soggy crust situation, one of the hardest things to tackle when it comes to making custard pies. The silky smooth pie filling will noticeably darken after being baked in the oven. The end result will look something like pumpkin pie, but a whiff will tell you that it most certainly isn’t! The scent of brisk black tea and sweet milk will hit you. Top the pie with teapot and teacup pie dough cut-outs and people will know better than to call this an ordinary pumpkin pie!
When it comes to Hong Kong Milk Tea, there are a whole culture of foods that are meant for pairing with it. If you’re a big fan of this creamy concoction, head over to the wonderfully delicious blog, The Missing Lokness, where today, my friend Lok is showcasing this savory recipe for a Satay Beef Egg SandwichIn Hong Kong cafes (a.k.a. cha chaan teng), these hearty, satisfying sandwiches are served alongside a hot cup of the good stuff. Lok’s recipe is simple, straight-forward and crazy delicious–an authentic taste of Hong Kong’s thriving tea culture!

A big thanks to my awesome blogging friends, Sue of Birgerbird & Lok of The Missing Lokness, for allowing me to share their brilliant culinary creations! When I started my blog years ago, I never imagined what wonderful people I would meet along the way. They make blogging worth the effort. Please check out their sites for many, many more mouth-watering recipes!!

Milk Tea Custard Pie (recipe courtesy of Sue O’Bryan)

Makes 1 pie. 

Ingredients:

{Crust}

2 frozen pie crusts, thawed according to directions

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp flour

1 egg white, beaten

{Filling}

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Lipton Black Tea Bags (I use 12 tea bags, Sue uses 10)

6 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk

6 Tbsp half-and-half

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup sugar

Equipment:

pie plate

rolling pin

work surface

pot

pastry brush

large strainer

cooling rack

teacup, teapot, and mini drop cookie cutters (optional)

Directions:

1. Shape the Crust. Gather 1 1/2 pie crusts into a ball. Re-roll this into a 1/8″ thick round. Place in pie plate, then crimp or decorate the edges as you’d like. Place the shaped pie dough in the freezer. This can be frozen for 24 hours before proceeding to next step. Reserve the other 1/2 of pie crust in the fridge for making pie dough cut outs.

2. Steep the Tea. Bring the milk and cream to a boil. Take the mixture off of the heat, then add the tea bags to steep. Steep for at least 10 minutes, more if you prefer. After removing the tea, you should have 2 1/2 cups of tea-milk. If not, measure out that amount (or top off with equal amounts of milk and cream to get the 2 1/2 cups). Chill in fridge overnight.

3. Make the Custard Base. The next day, add the condensed milk and half-and-half to the tea-milk mixture. Mix until homogenous. Over a stove, bring this mixture to scalding. After it has reached scalding, remove the mixture from the heat and add the eggs and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

4. Make the Pie. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the crust from the freezer. Sprinkle the base and sides with a mix of 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp flour. Coat the base and sides with egg white in a thick, even layer. Just use some of the egg white, not all of it. Place in freezer for 10 minutes, the remove. Pour the cooled custard base through a strainer into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 35-40 minutes, in the lower 1/3 of the oven, until the filling is set.

5. Decorate the Pie. Cool the pie on a rack. Meanwhile, re-roll the remaining pie dough to a thickness of 1/8″. Use teapot, teacup and mini drop cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the dough. Bake these for about 8 minutes until lightly golden. Place on top of the cooled pie to serve.

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Allison

Beautifully inspiring! I have always loved custard pies–they remind me of my grandmother. Your blog could not be more lovely… –Allison (Bruce and Shelley’s friend and student)

Reply
Bonnie Eng

Thank you so much, Allison! Custard pies are a favorite of mine too! Which of Elmwood Inn’s tea classes did you attend? Bruce, Shelly, & Lois are the best people. So honored to be in touch with them and you! 😉

Reply
Allison

They are my adopted family, so I have « class » with them many times per month. I teach French at the local college. Shelly and I do Elmwood’s Instagram together and every once in a while I help out in the shop or serve at their ‘mini’ classes. Love them to pieces! ?

Reply
Lokness @ The Missing Lokness

This pie is everything I ever wanted! Silky custard in milk tea flavor. That sounds superb! I need to try this. In my book, there is no shame of using store-bought pie crust. It’s so easy and some taste fantastic. Love the flour, sugar and egg white trick! No soggy pie crust ever! Thank you for partnering up, Bonnie! ❤️☺️

Reply
Tania Stacey

Thanks for the inspiration! I have a bunch of family from South Africa coming for Christmas. They have a traditional Melk Terk (milk tart) which is very much like a custard tart made from eggs, milk and sugar etc. I was planning to make it and now I will put a nice tea twist to it. I agree with Lokness, no shame in bought pastry! Cheers Tania (Cuppa Cha)

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Shannon @loveatfirstbento

This pie literally looks like it was taken out of the window of a high-class patisserie, it’s so gorgeous and perfect! 😀 While I can make a pretty decent pie crust, mine definitely looks no where near as pretty as yours – those crimps are perfect! LOVE the tip your friend Sue gives for reducing the risk of a soggy crust, that’s brilliant, and I am definitely going to try it! As always, such a beautiful post Bonnie!

Reply
Hailey

So I made this pie for the first time! The crust burned and it might be under baked a bit. I am seeing if cooling it will help as our house is so hot right now in Oregon. Does anyone have any tips or adjustments?

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