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 Sandwich! In 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.
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed according to directions
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp flour
1 egg white, beaten
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
teacup, teapot, and mini drop cookie cutters (optional)
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.