Cream Pie is the perfect fluffy, rich dessert with a flaky pie crust, a homemade pudding filling, and fluffy whipped cream topping.
Cream Pies are an incredible dessert to serve all year long. You can bring the cream-filled pie out at your holiday party for a surprising and kid-friendly addition to the classic Pumpkin and Apple Pie dishes. But, because it’s chilled, it also makes a great dessert for the spring and summer when you want something more refreshing. Try adding berries or other fresh fruit to the whipped topping when serving Cream Pie in the summer.
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Sabrina’s Cream Pie Recipe
If you’re looking for an easy but fabulous dessert for your next potluck or holiday, then this beautifully homemade Cream Pie is the perfect recipe. The combination of buttery and flaky pie crust with the lovely pudding texture at the center is indulgent and delicious. Plus, it’s all finished with a simple, light, and airy Whipped Cream topping. If you want to add rich chocolate flavor to the vanilla custard pie, you can also top it with Chocolate Ganache right before serving.
What’s the difference between Boston Cream Pie and Cream Pie?
Despite its name, a Boston cream pie isn’t a pie. A Boston cream pie is actually a cake with a custard filling and chocolate topping. It may also be referred to as a chocolate cream pie or a cream cake. On the other hand, this recipe is an actual pie with a classic pie crust. The biggest similarity between the two desserts is the rich custard filling.
- Milk: Creamy whole milk acts as the liquid base for the rich vanilla cream filling. While you can use 2% or 1% milk, the extra cream in the whole milk helps it create the pudding-like consistency that you want.
- Eggs: Beat the egg yolks before combining them with the milk ingredients. The combination of egg yolks and milk is what makes the rich, thick custard filling. The eggs make the mixture more velvety, adds a yellow color, and helps the structure to solidify.
- Cornstarch: The cornstarch also acts as an essential thickening agent in the creamy filling. Yes! You can prepare Cream Pie ahead of time. After baking and assembling the pie, let it cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight for up to 2 nights for the freshest taste. This allows the flavors to meld and the pie to set perfectly. When it’s time to serve, add the whipped cream, and enjoy!
- Pie Crust: You’ll need one deep dish pie crust for this Cream Pie recipe. You can make the recipe quicker by picking up pie crust at the grocery store or follow our recipe to make your own.
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
- Saucepan: A medium-sized saucepan is essential for heating and cooking the custard mixture.
- Whisk: A reliable whisk is crucial for blending the custard ingredients smoothly.
- Pie Dish: You’ll need a deep dish pie pan, preferably 9 inches in diameter, to bake and present your custard pie. A glass or ceramic pie dish works well, and you can also use a store-bought pie crust for convenience.
- Hand Mixer: For whipping the cream, a hand mixer is a time-saving tool. It ensures your whipped cream achieves the perfect consistency quickly.
- Plastic Wrap: To prevent skin from forming on the custard, plastic wrap is essential. After filling the pie crust, gently press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard before refrigerating it. This ensures your custard pie remains silky and smooth.
How to Make Cream Pie
Time needed: 4 hours and 15 minutes.
- Step 1: Bake the Pie Crust
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the deep dish pie crust in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until it turns golden brown. Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
- Step 2: Prepare the Custard Filling
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 cups of whole milk, ½ cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes bubbly. Continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes until it thickens.
- Step 3: Incorporate the Egg Yolks
Take ¼ cup of the milk mixture and cool it in the fridge for two minutes. Add 3 beaten large egg yolks to the cooled milk, whisk to combine, and then add it back to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture.
- Step 4: Thicken and Flavor the Custard
Place the saucepan back on medium heat and whisk for an additional 3-4 minutes until the mixture becomes smooth and thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, whisking well.
- Step 5: Fill the Pie Crust and Chill
Pour the prepared custard filling into the pre-baked pie crust. To prevent a skin from forming, gently press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate the pie for 3-4 hours until it’s completely chilled.
- Step 6: Whip the Cream
In a separate bowl, make whipped cream by combining 1 ½ cups of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Use a hand mixer to beat until it forms medium peaks, which usually takes 1-2 minutes.
- Step 7: Garnish and Serve
Once the custard pie has chilled, remove it from the fridge. Add the whipped cream to the center of the pie, spreading it in a circle while leaving a 1-inch border of the custard filling showing. Slice, serve, and enjoy your Cream Pie!
Can Cream Pie Be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can prepare Cream Pie ahead of time. After baking and assembling the pie, let it cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight for up to 2 nights for the freshest taste. This allows the flavors to meld and the pie to set perfectly. When it’s time to serve, add the whipped cream, and enjoy!
How to Store
To keep your Custard Pie with Whipped Cream fresh, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate it. This prevents moisture loss and helps maintain its creamy texture. Consume within 2-3 days for the best taste and quality.
Custard pies are best enjoyed fresh and cool. Freezing may compromise their texture and taste, so it’s not recommended.
You can buy premade pie dough from this recipe, but if you want the recipe to be entirely from scratch, it’s not difficult to make your own. To bake the perfect pie crust, all you need is all-purpose flour, salt, frozen unsalted butter, and ice water. After combining and refrigerating the pie dough, you’ll roll it out on a well-floured surface and place it in a deep dish 9-inch pie plate to bake. Go to our Pie Crust Recipe for more detailed instructions.
Lumps can form if the custard is not stirred continuously. To fix it, strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps before pouring it into the pie crust. Stirring constantly during cooking is key to preventing lumps or curdling.
A cream pie is any pie made with a rich custard filling, and they’re usually topped with whipped cream. There are all sorts of flavors this can come in, including vanilla, banana, key lime, and peanut butter. Unlike a fruit pie, where the filling is baked in the pie crust, for this cream pie recipe, you bake the pie crust separately. Then cook the custard filling on the stovetop. You’ll add the finished custard to the baked pie crust, then let it all chill before serving with the classic whipped topping.
While it’s best to make whipped cream just before serving for the freshest texture, you can prepare it a few hours ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Be sure to re-whip it briefly before adding it to the pie to regain its fluffy consistency.
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the pie crust for 30 minutes then remove to cool.
- Add the milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly.
- Keep stirring and cook for another 5-6 minutes before removing from the heat.
- Using a ¼ cup of the milk mixture which you've cooled in the fridge for two minutes, add the egg yolks to it and whisk to combine before adding it back into the rest of the milk mixture.
- Set the saucepan back on the stove on medium heat again and whisk for an additional 3-4 minutes until it's totally smooth and thickened to a pudding consistency.
- Remove from the heat and add in the butter and vanilla, whisking well.
- Add the pudding to the pie crust and press saran wrap onto the pie gently to avoid a skin from forming on top.
- Cool the pie completely in the fridge (3-4 hours) before topping with whipped cream.
- To make the whipped cream add the powdered sugar to the heavy cream and beat until it forms medium peaks, about 1-2 minutes with a hand mixer.
- Add the whipped cream to the middle of the pie, spread in a circle but leave a 1" border of the cream pie filling showing.
- Click on the “yield” amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
- To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card.
Variations on Cream Pie
- Citrus Cream Pie: To add fresh and tart citrus flavor to your cream pie recipe, you can swap out the vanilla extract for a tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice. For extra lemon or lime flavor, you can also whisk citrus juice into the whipped cream topping.
- Coconut Cream Pie: To make this recipe into a classic coconut cream pie, you can swap out the milk in the custard mixture for full-fat coconut milk. Then prepare the rich filling as usual. After assembling the pie, sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over the top of the whipped cream.
- Banana Cream Pie: To make a banana cream pie recipe, you can layer sliced bananas over the cooled custard filling before adding the cream topping.
- Crumb Crust: Instead of the classic pastry crust, you can make a graham cracker crust or chocolate cookie crust. Use a food processor to break graham crackers or Oreo cookies into crumbs, and be sure to stop the food processor before the pieces are broken too small. Then mix the coarse crumbs with sugar and melted butter and press the mixture into the pie plate. Follow our recipe for Graham Cracker Pie Crust for more specific directions.
- Topping Options: There are lots of incredible toppings that you can add to decorate the pie and add more flavor and dimensions. Try placing toasted butter pecans on top. You could also use other types of nuts like almonds or walnuts. If you want some fruit, add fresh berries, peach slices, or kiwi. You can also drizzle melted milk or dark chocolate or add Salted Caramel Sauce.