Marie Saba

Custard Pie with Vintage Roses

Marie Saba
Custard Pie with Vintage Roses

I make a lot of mistakes in the kitchen: So many failed recipes. So much burnt food. Oversalted. Underseasoned. You name it, I’ve done it.

This pie is one of them. I took my recipe for flan and put it in a pie crust. Because creamy caramel custard in a pie crust sounds pretty good, right?

Yes, but not if you over cook it (whomp, whomp). See all the little holes in the custard below? Overcooked. And if you’ve ever had overcooked custard, think “sweet eggs.” Bleh.


Not that it was bad. It was still good, but I wanted GREAT. So time for round two. And gotta say, this one is a winner. A crisp layer of sugar on top like creme brûlée. Soft, creamy custard underneath. No holes from overcooking. And nothing short of fantastic :)


Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to make. For the filling, you just mix together four ingredients in a blender.

For the crust, you can use homemade or store-bought. My recipe is here. Either way, keep in mind that crusts on custard pies have a tendency to slip down the edges as they bake. To avoid that, you’ll want to (1) freeze the crust before adding the custard filling, (2) use a pie shield if you have one, and (3) cook at 450F for the first fifteen minutes. That combination will help your crust stay in place while baking.

The rose and leaf cutters are available from Williams-Sonoma. They’re adorable and I highly recommend them if you like to make pies.

As for the color on the roses , I used a mixtures of cherry juice (from mashed up frozen cherries) and a little water. For the leaves, I used a teaspoon of matcha tea powder with a few drops of water.

Let me know if you have questions! Happy to help.


Custard Pie with Vintage Roses

Makes one 9-inch pie


2 cans sweetened condensed milk

1 cup half and half

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pie crust

Homemade or store-bought pink and green food coloring

2 Tablespoons sugar in the raw


For filling, place sweetened condensed milk, half and half, eggs and vanilla in the jar of a blender. Blend briefly to combine.

Roll out the pie crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate. (Save the scraps of pie crust for decorations.) Place the pie plate in the freezer. Roll out the scraps. Cut roses and leaves for decoration. “Paint” the decorations with homemade or store-bought food coloring, and set aside.

Take pie crust out of freezer. Preheat oven to 450F. Pour filling into the frozen pie crust. If you have a pie shield, place it around the edges of the crust. Bake pie at 450 for 15 minutes.

Remove pie from oven and take off pie shield. Add painted decorations. Reduce heat to 350F. Return pie to oven and bake for 20 minutes more.

Remove pie from oven and sprinkle sugar evenly all over the top of the custard filling. Return pie to oven and bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes more, just until filling is set.

Remove pie from oven and cool for 4 hours. Custard filling will firm up as it cools, so be sure to allow time for that. Slice pie and enjoy!