Egg pies remind me of my mom because she bakes these a lot. I also just found out that egg pie was a specialty of my guakong (grandfather on mom’s side), though sadly, he passed away when I was really young.
Egg pies may sound weird to some people who are used to having just fruit in pies. It’s like eating vanilla custard on a flaky pie crust, and it is pretty delicious. In my version I used maple-flavored dairy spread, but you can certainly just use plain unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar based on the original recipe I got from Vanjo’s blog Panlasang Pinoy. (This is his second recipe that I tried, the first was ensaymada and it turned out really delicious! Do check out his blog for great Filipino recipes!)
Read on for the recipe. I learned some geeky mad-scientist chemistry stuff on the way which you may find interesting too. ;)
Egg Pie Recipe
Adapted from Panlasang Pinoy
Ingredients for the Crust
Ingredients for the Filling
1. Make the crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix well.
2. Add the chilled and cubed butter in the middle of the mixture and combine using a pastry cutter.
It should look like this afterwards.
3. Gradually pour the cold water while mixing the ingredients using your pastry cutter. Continue mixing until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Tip: You may not need to finish all 1/2 cup of the cold water. Just add enough so that the whole mixture is slightly damp.
4. Gather the dough and shape it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Sprinkle flour on a clean flat surface and flatten the refrigerated dough using a rolling pin. The flattened dough should be wide enough to cover a 9-inch circular baking pan. Arrange the flattened dough on top of the baking pan and cut the extra edge using a butter knife/pair of scissors. Tip: I used my 10-inch tart pan and there still was more than enough dough to cover it!
6. Refrigerate the dough while making the filling.
7. Make the filling: Scald the evaporated milk. You can microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes as the original recipe suggested, but I did it the old-fashioned way by heating the milk under low heat until it reaches 82 degrees C or 180 degrees F. People believe the scalding the milk changes its chemical properties so that the resulting custard is more sturdy - this article, "Scalding Milk: Is It Really Necessary?" is a good read!
Obviously I couldn’t take a picture of the milk at 82 degrees as I was panicking at this point.
8. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 large eggs plus the 1 separated egg yolk and whisk. Gradually add the granulated sugar while whisking. Finally, add in the vanilla extract and whisk until everything is evenly distributed.
9. Carefully pour-in the scalded milk and mix thoroughly. If you notice, milk skin or a thin film of protein had formed at the top of my scalded milk, I simply removed it and did not include it in the mixture.
10. Beat the separated egg white using an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. I may have overbeat mine a little. :P
11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
12. Fold the processed egg white in the milk-eggs-sugar mixture. The egg white will be floating on the top surface - this is what will make the top layer brown when baked.
13. Pour the filling mixture on the refrigerated pie crust.
14. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit then lower the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes.
15. Remove the egg pie from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!