Spring is finally here!
After a week of grey and rain (and snow…) the sun has emerged and is (hopefully) here to stay. While I’m still patiently waiting on rhubarb, I wanted to make a light custard based pie to bring in spring. This pie did the job.
Having buttermilk as a base along with cream adds a nice tangy note and the chamomile is very subtle. If a custard pie could be described as “fresh”, this would be it. I feel like it would also be very easy to eat about half of it yourself.
For the crust decoration, I used a cannoli form to cut circlets turn into flowers. Rudimentary – but I was so excited about how they turned out on the braid. One step closer to actual flowers!
- 1.5 batches pie dough, rolled and one in buttered pie pan (see Blood Orange Custard Pie post)
- Egg wash (1 egg mixed with teaspoon of water)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 chamomile teabags
- 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
Let’s start with the crust.
Evenly cut the dough into 1/4 inch strips (use a ruler to help). Divide into sets of 5 and press them together at the top, fanning out the strips. Take the outermost right strip and cross it over the two beside it, so it is in the middle. Then, take the outermost left strip and cross it over the two beside it so it’s now in the middle. Repeat the braiding until complete.
You’ll need about three of these braids for the whole crust rim. Brush the rim of the dough in the pan with egg wash and set a braid on top, gently pressing down to set (I also lightly scored the rim of the pie shell to help the braid stick more). You can connect each braid by the end pieces or cover the joints with dough cutouts.
Prick the dough all over the bottom and sides with a fork about 20 times and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Line the dough with foil leaving no gaps between the foil and dough and place pie weights or dried rice or beans in the pan, with more around the outside to prevent dough shrinkage.
Bake at 425F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove weights and foil. Brush crust with egg wash and bake again for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
To make the filling, bring cream just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and steep teabags for over 10 minutes (I did about 12 minutes but would recommend closer to 20 for a stronger flavour).
Whisk butter, sugar, salt and flour in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Remove tea bags from the cream and add buttermilk and vinegar. Slowly stream the chamomile cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring as you go. Strain filling into prepared, cooled pie crust.
Bake at 325F on a rimmed baking sheet for 45 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees after about 30 minutes (when the edges start to set). The pie is done when the edges are slightly puffed and the filling jiggles a bit like gelatin, but is no longer liquid. Allow to cool 2-3 hours before serving.
Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds