Filipino Egg Pie: custard pie slowly baked in a flakey butter crust.
For most people, “pie” evokes childhood memories of warm apple pie served with vanilla ice cream or sweet summer strawberry pie with a dollop or whipped cream. For me, this Filipino Egg Pie comes to mind. [I mentioned my love for this custard pie (three years ago!) in this cinnamon buttermilk pie.]
Filipino egg pie is traditionally made with milk, sugar, eggs, and sometimes with a touch of calamansi juice/zest to brighten up this otherwise very sweet pie. In keeping with tradition, I used canned evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Back in the day when refrigerators were uncommon or unavailable, Filipinos (and most of Southeast Asians) relied on canned evaporated milk. Evaporated milk was primarily used for cooking and baking (not drinking).
Growing up, this was the pie that we would have at every gathering and celebration. Filipinos party with a ton of food. There was bound to be at least two of these custard pies on the dessert table. When our local Filipino bakeries would run out of this popular pie, my dad would hurry to Marie Callender’s to buy their custard pie (it’s similar, except for the addition of nutmeg).
The distinguishing feature of Filipino egg pie is the toasty brown surface. This is achieved by folding whipped egg whites into the custard batter at the very last minute before baking.
While I love the more popular Filipino desserts like leche flan and steamed rice treats (puto, sapin sapin, etc), this egg pie was my absolute favorite as a child. I may have been known to hide this pie so no one else could eat it at parties.
Nowadays, I rarely see this pie at Filipino parties. It makes me a little sad. The new generation of Filipino-Americans (my little nieces and nephews) have no idea what they’re missing. I want to bring egg pie back!
Filipino Egg Pie
This sweet custard pie is a popular Filipino dessert served as parties, gatherings, and celebrations.
Yield: 9-inch pie
- 1 1/2 cups (198 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz/114 g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, cold
- 2-3 Tbsp ice water
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- optional: 1/2 tsp calamansi juice or 1/2 tsp calamansi zest
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cover and let chill in the fridge or freezer until bowl is cold. (About 5 minutes)
- Using a pastry blender (or two forks), cut cold butter into cold flour until mixture resembles coarse, pebbled sand. Add ice water and fold to combine. Dough will be shaggy.
- Dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until mixture comes together. Pat dough to a thickness of about 1/2-inch. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (overnight is best).
- Allow chilled dough to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling. Roll dough on a lightly floured work surface to about 11-inch in diameter and about 1/8-inch in thickness. Place pie plate upside down over the rolled dough to ensure it is the correct size.
- Transfer dough to pie plate and firmly press into the bottom and sides of plate. Trim excess dough leaving about 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold overhang into the pie and decorate the edges as desired. Let chill in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line pie with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (i.e. dried beans). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake for another 3 minutes. Allow pie crust to cool while you prepare filling.
- Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, condensed milk, evaporated milk, salt, and vanilla (and optional calamansi) until smooth*. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
- Pour batter into par-baked pie crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the surface is golden brown in color and the custard just slightly jiggles in the center. Allow pie to cool to room temperature before slicing. Once pie has cooled, you can also store it in the fridge to chill of easier and cleaner slicing.
- If you notice that the egg yolks are lumpy or stringy, strain egg yolk mixture before folding in egg whites.
- Calamansi is optional. Do not substitute lemon or lime.
The Little Epicurean