Tartea` la Bouie

This is one of the oldest desserts to come out of bayou country. Since eggs and milk were so plentiful, custard-based desserts were constantly available. My mother made beautiful boiled custards but the best custard pie I ever ate was one cooked by Betsy Ayo, wife of Dr. Donald Ayo, President of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. Although she never gave me all of her secrets, she shared most of them; I in turn will share them with you. John Folse, Donaldsonville.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You should begin the recipe by combining the milk and cream and scalding the mixture over a low fire until skin forms on the surface but milk does not boil, approximately 200 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, sugar and cornstarch. Using a wire whisk, whip gently until cornstarch and sugar are dissolved. Add approximately one cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture while beating constantly. This will temper the eggs, prior to adding them to the hot milk. While whisking the scalded milk, add the egg mixture and continue to whip until mixture thickens to the texture of a very heavy cream. Add vanilla and butter and continue to cook until thick custard is achieved. Remove from heat and cool thoroughly before pouring into the uncooked pie crust. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Blend 1-2 minutes until ingredients are incorporated. Add baking powder and flour and continue to process until flour is absorbed and a dough ball forms in the process. Remove dough and refrigerate one hour. Roll dough into a large pie-shaped crust, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Place the dough in a pie pan, allowing the excess to rest out on the work surface. When the custard is cooled, pour it into the pie shell and fold the pie dough over to the center of the pie in an uneven fashion. It isn't necessary for the crust to be sealed on the top. Bake 30-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


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