Iowa’s Favorite Custard Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes one 10 inch or deep 9½ inch pie; serves about


Appears in

This is an Iowa farm recipe from my mother’s own cookbook,” says Ron Popp, who grew up in Dow City, Iowa, and now owns The Garden Café in Omaha, Nebraska. “Many of our best restaurant desserts come right from her recipes. Most of what she baked came from her German heritage. Her baking wasn’t ‘fancy gourmet,’ it just wowed everybody with its great flavor.”

This basic custard pie cuts into clean slices; the high proportion of eggs and real cream makes it rich and smooth.


  • Basic Pie Dough for a 1-crust pie
  • 1⅔ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkling of fresh-grated nutmeg
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (or 350 degrees, if you are using Pyrex), with a rack in the lower third. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about inch thick. Fit it, without stretching, into a buttered deep 9½- or 10-inch pie pan. Trim off the excess dough, leaving a ¾-inch overhang. Fold under the edge of the dough, pressing along the rim of the pan and forming a high fluted border. Refrigerate the pie shell.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, scald the cream and milk. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg and vanilla. Quickly add the hot milk mixture and whisk constantly until thoroughly mixed; do not overmix.
  3. Place the pie shell on the oven rack and pour in the custard mixture. Bake until the custard is spotted with gold and set, but still slightly wobbly in the center, usually 40 to 45 minutes. (The timing can vary based on the depth of the pie pan; do not overbake.)
  4. Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve lukewarm. (It’s also good cold.)