Self-Organising Custard Pie

custardpiethumb.jpgThis is a baked custard pie with a difference - because it essentially makes itself. All you do is mix all the ingredients and bake - and when it comes out, it has a soft pastry crust on the bottom, and a moist wobbly custard filling on top.

The Recipe


  • 100g Plain flour
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 75g Butter or vegetable spread
  • 400ml Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 Teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg


custardpie2.jpgPut all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 170C (or 160c if it's a fan oven).

Rub the inside of an 8 inch (20cm) flan dish with butter.

custardpie3.jpgMelt the butter over a gentle heat, or by placing it in a cup in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Add the butter, and all of the other ingredients to the bowl.

Using a large balloon whisk or electric mixer, whisk the mixture until it forms a smooth, consistent batter texture.

custardpie4.jpgPlace the buttered flan dish on a tray (in case of spills during cooking).

Pour in the mixture and allow it to stand for a couple of minutes.

I added a little more shaved nutmeg at this stage, but it's not really nevessary.

Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

custardpie5.jpgTowards the end of cooking, the filling of the pie will start to puff up quite noticeably - starting at the outside edge and progressing in toward the middle.

By the time it's risen all the way to the centre, it's done.

Sadly, this very impressive souffle - like appearance doesn't persist - after a few minutes, it will sink back down to look more like a pie. This is normal.

Leave to cool for at least half an hour. The pie can be served warm, room temperature or chilled.



How It Works

Although all of the ingredients are mixed together into a uniform batter, it starts to separate into layers almost as soon as it's poured into the dish - the flour settles into a layer along the bottom, leaving a sweetened egg and milk custard mix above. The nutmeg floats up to the top.

Impossible Pie

This is a simplified version of a popular recipe called Impossible Pie, which normally also contains dessicated coconut and/or flaked almonds - either of which will float to the top of the custard to form a crispy topping.

To make this recipe into Impossible Pie, just add 50g of dessicated coconut or flaked almonds (or 25g of each).



1. On Saturday, November 26, 2011, 18:07 by kerrick

You forgot to list eggs in the ingredients; how many did you use? Sounds delicious and easy!

2. On Saturday, November 26, 2011, 23:03 by Mike(For Atomic Shrimp)

Oops. Good catch Kerrick - thanks4 eggs (recipe corrected above);

3. On Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:27 by Anon

200g Caster suagShouldn't that be sugar?;

4. On Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:38 by Mike (For Atomic Shrimp)

Oh dear - yes. My proofreading on this page was terrible!

5. On Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 23:00 by Fennel crumblecheese

As in the proof of the pudding? Looking forward to trying this out over the xmas break. Have been working far too hard this year and not browsed your pages for ages. Note to self from now on try one thing from atomic shrimp per month. Loving reading ab

6. On Thursday, May 17, 2012, 04:05 by Nikita

I tried making this, and screwed up royally. I left out the milk, and so ended up with a nutmeg-flavored cake. However, it was still very good, sort of a nutmeg flavored cake similar to a carrot cake in texture. I frosted it with some simple cream chee

7. On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 17:34 by Eileen

This is gorgeous! Didn't have a flan dish so used a shallow Pyrex casserole instead and cooked it for an extra 10 minutes. Also reduced the sugar to 60g.i'll make this again and again.Thanks for the recipe.All the best. ;

8. On Sunday, January 20, 2013, 12:42 by Cheesey person

Love this recipie, we cook it every day! (almost!)

9. On Monday, December 23, 2013, 01:47 by obax

Would regular granulated sugar be an appropriate replacement for the castor sugar?I've read different things, some say to use icing sugar, others say granulated is fine. My understanding is that castor sugar is finer than regular granulated but not as

10. On Monday, December 23, 2013, 22:22 by Mike (for Atomic Shrimp)

Caster sugar is like fine-grained granulated sugar - not nearly as fine as icing sugarIt would be worth a try to use granulated sugar - worst case, it won't dissolve properly - some of the sugar will sink and the pie will have a sweet bottom crust.;

11. On Wednesday, December 25, 2013, 00:07 by obax

Thanks for the response! I sort of figured that'd be the worst case, and as far as worst cases go, that's not really that bad. Experimentation shall commence tonight!

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