It’s no secret that I’m a big coffee lover, and that applies both to hot drinks and to desserts that use coffee in one form or another. This Coffee Custard Pie is a simple recipe that delivers a lot of coffee flavor and is sure to be a big hit with any coffee lover out there. It’s also very easy to make and, while you will need to allow time for it to cool after baking, it doesn’t take much time to put this recipe together.
The pie filling has a great coffee flavor and tastes a lot like a latte, with just the right hint of sweetness and vanilla. Instant espresso powder is what gives this pie such a distinct coffee flavor. You can find instant espresso powder in the coffee section of many stores, alongside instant coffee. Instant coffee doesn’t have as rich a coffee flavor as instant espresso, so the finished pie won’t pack the same punch. If you don’t have instant espresso, I find that Starbucks Via comes very close in terms of delivering a potent coffee flavor and I prefer that as a substitute in this recipe.
When it comes to the pie crust, you can pair this filling with a number of different options. You can use a traditional pastry crust or opt for a crumb crust made with graham crackers or chocolate wafer cookies. A pastry crust should be blind baked before the filling is added to ensure that it has enough time to cook completely. I like to use a crumb crust – even though crumb crusts risk getting soggy with a custard filling – because I love the flavor of cookies and coffee together. I used a shortbread crust, but a crust made with chocolate wafer cookies would add a nice contrast to the filling.
The filling contains a small amount of cornstarch to help it bake evenly and set at a texture that makes it easy to slice, while still remaining nice and tender. The pie will almost melt in your mouth – except for the slight crunch of the crust, of course. Serve this pie with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. I dusted mine with a pinch of espresso powder, but ground cinnamon or even cocoa powder would also be a nice finishing touch.
Coffee Custard Pie
9-inch pie crust (blind-baked if pastry or prebaked if crumb crust)
2 cups milk, pref. whole, divided
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Place prepared pie crust on a baking sheet.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, warm 1/2 cup of milk just enough to dissolve espresso powder into it. Once espresso has been dissolved, add in vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in eggs and salt, followed by the espresso mixture. Mix in remaining milk. Strain mixture into prepared pie crust.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until pie filling jiggles only slightly when pan is gently shaken. Allow pie to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled before slicing.
Makes 1 pie; serves 8-10