Chai Custard Pie

I started following Spice Girl Eats on Instagram last summer when she was doing gorgeous looking pop ups out of Depanneur in Toronto and then couldn’t help but notice her Chai Concentrate being sold where only products picked by the most discerning tastes would be sold.

I picked up a bottle late last year, made an iced chai and immediately thought a) this is very very good and b) I need to bake with this stuff ASAP

Flash forward to this past weekend when Toronto is back in peak lockdown and I realized I hadn’t baked a pie since Thanksgiving (I know, not very Pie Girl of me) and I knew it was time to give this chai custard pie that had been floating in my head for MONTHS a try.

I tried, and oh boy did it SUCCEED! It has a super creamy and delicious texture and the chai flavour is spot on, with a little bit of additional cinnamon and ginger to round everything out against the custard. A wonderfully warming pie for those lockdown winter weekends where you aren’t quite sure what to do except snuggle up and bake.

Crust Ingredients (if you want to add braids, multiply the below by 1.5x and use the half batch to make them!)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 8 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (you could also try freshly grated ginger, I would have but was out!)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup Spice Girl Eats Chai Concentrate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
  • Raw sugar

First, mix all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) in a large bowl. With a pastry blender, “cut” in your butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger (see below).

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand. Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms. If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along. Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together. Flatten a little into a circle, wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once your dough has rested,  roll it out on a floured surface until it is just over a foot in diameter.  If it’s a bit of a wonky shape, cut a bit off one side to add to the side that needs it (use a fork to blend the sides together).

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Fold the circle in half and place in a buttered pie pan, ensuring there aren’t any spaces between the dough and the corner of the pan. There should be about 1-2 inches of dough overhanging, roll/fold this dough UNDERNEATH itself, on top of the pan rim so there’s a little dough ledge.

Once you’re fully crimped (see technique above) or have added the braids to your crust (see my Instagram stories!) place the pie shell in the fridge for 30 minutes and then prick it all around with a fork (~20 times). Place in the freezer until solid (10-15 minutes).

This is where blind baking comes in (pre-baking the crust for a custard pie). Wrap the pie in foil ensuring there are NO SPACES between foil and dough and weigh it down it with uncooked rice, beans or ceramic pie weights, mainly around the sides (this minimizes crust shrinking). Bake at 425F for 20 minutes until the crust sets, remove foil, brush with egg wash and bake another 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

While the crust cools, make the filling by whisking together melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Add flour, cinnamon and ginger, whisking until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition and then slowly pour in Chai Concentrate followed by heavy cream and vanilla whisking as you add.

Preheat oven to 325F and strain filling into cooled pie shell. Brush crust edge with more egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake on a sheet pan at 325F for 25 minutes, then increase heat to 350F, rotate the pan and bake another 25 minutes until the filling is puffed and jiggles like gelatin. Allow to cool fully, 2-3 hours to ensure it is fully set and enjoy!

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