Let’s be honest there is nothing quite as good as a well made custard pie and personally i don’t mind if it is to eat or to throw, both are satisfying.
It has been in existence since the Middle Ages, so it is nothing new, and it has always been based around milk, cream, eggs, and sugar cooked in a pastry base. It was Alfred Bird who confused us all as to what a true custard pie was when he ditched eggs and used cornstarch instead, creating Bird’s Instant Custard which we all flocked to, as it saved so much time that we went off to invent the Internet and left handed spoons. But a true custard pie is a work of art needing timing and finesse. The result being far superior to anything you can buy in a shop.
The custard pie took on a whole new lease of life when, in 1913, Mabel Normand threw a pie in Fatty Arbuckles film, ‘A Noise From the Deep’. For the next thirty years or so custard pie fights became popular, culminating in what many regard as the finest fight in Laurel and Hardy’s,’The Battle Of The Century’.
Now if you’ve always wondered if ‘film’ pies are a different recipe from ‘normal’ pies, yes they are. Greenbergs in Glendale California perfected the best pie for film, its base being twice as thick ( so it didn’t fall apart when you threw it ) and its filling consisted of flour, water, and whipped cream. There were two flavours. Blackberry if the recipient was blonde and lemon merangue if it was to be a brunette victim, purely because these colours showed up better on camera.
If all this has inspired you to make a custard pie then there is recipe at the end of this article. If, however, you wish to flan a friend and have a huge pie fight, Coxheath, near Maidstone in Kent have an annual custard pie world championship that has been taking place since 1967. It costs around forty quid to enter for a team of four and I for one am entering a team next year…see yer there
Eat, pie and be happy
Custard Pie Recipe……
pinch of nutmeg