And old fashioned favorite, especially in the south and also known as a brown sugar pie. It is a cooked custard pie, very rich, very sweet and utterly delicious. I rarely make custard pies, as they can be a bit tricky unless you pay very close attention to what you are doing. But, I find that if you are the least bit careful, the usually turn out to be pretty good. And even the flops are still tasty! It is a pretty straight forward pie... cornstarch or flour or both, egg yolks, butter, evaporated milk, brown sugar and vanilla. Because it is a fairly rich pie, I tend to prefer it plain, with no toppings, but if you like, you can top it with either a meringue or a dollop of whipped cream when you serve it. But any way you serve it, you are guaranteed to enjoy it!
1 8-inch baked and cooled pie shell
1 stick butter, melted (lightly browned for a richer flavor, if you like)
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
If using browned butter, melt the butter in a quart saucepan and allow to simmer on medium heat until it begins to brown. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar is melted and bubbly. Add the evaporated milk and continue to cook until smooth and the sugar is completely dissolved. Mix together the cornstarch, flour, salt and milk. Whisk until smooth then whisk into the cooked sugar, butter, evaporated milk mixture. Simmer, stirring constantly until it thickens, 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat. Whisk about half cup of the hot pudding mixture into the egg yolks, then mix the egg yolk mixture into the remaining pudding. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly for another 30-60 seconds, until very thick. Remove from heat and cool and allow to cool about 10 minutes before spooning into a baked 8 inch pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing onto the top of the pie to prevent a skin forming. Chill a couple of hours before cutting.
If you want to put meringue on top here is how to do it.
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and stir constantly until it thickens and turns translucent. Remove from heat.
Mix the sugar and cream of tartar together. Then in a large bowl beat the egg whites and vanilla until it becomes frothy. Then continue beating and add the sugar/cream of tartar mixture 1 tbsp. at a time until it is all incorporated. When the mixture begins to form soft peaks add the cornstarch mixture 1 tbsp. at a time and beat until you have stiff peaks.
Have you pie filling as hot as possible and place in the baked pie shell. Quickly apply the meringue to the hot filling, starting around the edges and making sure it touches the rim of the pie crust all the way around, then mound the remaining meringue over the top of the pie and make pretty swirls with the spatula or spoon. Bake the pie in the preheated oven about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a rack before cutting.