Sep 22, 2014

Southern Custard Pie


When I was a girl we used to get Southern Custard Pie made by Blue Bird Baking Company.  It was the best pie I have ever tasted. The company was founded in 1923 by Louis Preonas originally from Thessaly, Greece who came to the United States in 1911 and settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan.   He was apprenticed as a baker after completing the 4th grade.  After travelling around to several Midwestern cities, he settled in Dayton, Ohio. Their operation prospered and they opened a facility in Mitchell, Indiana. Sales increased and neighboring states were eating these wonderful pies as well. They made a lot of apple pies, but my favorite was the Southern Custard.  The custard was very thick and rich. I begged my mother frequently to bring one home.    

The picture came from Geocaching
In the 1970's the plant closed and we no longer were able to get Blue Bird pies.  It wasn't until I was older that I began looking for a pie that was identical to when I was a kid. Most of the pies that I found were either not the same consistency or the taste was not the same. But, now I think that I have found my copycat recipe. I wish that I had this recipe a long time ago and of course it is inspired by Paula Dean. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of whole milk
1- 12 oz can of condensed milk
4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 tbs vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder 
2 tbs butter, melted
2 tbs flour
1/4 tsp each nutmeg, allspice, mix together

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs for 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, flour, butter, milk, and vanilla. Bake pastry shell until it is slightly golden and puffy. About 2-5 minutes. Then pour mixture into pastry shell. I find that if you put the pie shell on a cookie pan and then pour the mixture while it is already in the oven there is less of a chance of spilling the mixture in your clean oven.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, until top is a light golden brown.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and allspice mixture. The pie will be puffy when it comes out of the oven but will settle down after it cools. I, also, put my pie in the fridge for a while before I serve it.  Enjoy!