Maybe I’m missing my calling in life by not picking up a famous cookbook and chronicling my way through it. Someone’s already done Julia Childs, so there goes that idea. Maybe can bleach my hair, spike it, put sunglasses on the back of my head, and work my way through Guy Fieri’s “Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It“.
Uhhhh, no, the appeal of that disappeared too fast. Ha!
It’s not often that I post a recipe on this blog that came from someone else first, verbatim. Though I prefer to develop my own recipes for this blog, I’ve found great recipes and, with credit given to their respective creators, adjusted them to give them my own personal twist. This time, I decided to straight-up make a pie I’ve been wanting to make for ages, if only to save me on a long voyage to Gowanas. (Ugh…I hate transferring from the A to the F/G. Haaa.) Four & Twenty Blackbirds is an amazing pie shop in Brooklyn which I’ve been to a few times. I haven’t been there since 2012, and I have been itching for a trip down there, long trip be damned! It’s a cozy yet popular little spot to go to, and their pies are truly amazing. Recently, I saw a lot of people on Instagram post photos of their Matcha Custard Pie, and it looked amazing! Though green tea usually turns this supertaster’s tastebuds off, matcha, to my surprise, is a flavor I honestly enjoy and indulge in quite often.
I had a friend coming to my place to spend the night recently, and my inner hostess said, “I better bake something for her arrival!”
Admittedly, I cut a few corners – namely, buying a pre-made pie crust at Whole Foods – because I did not have the time that day to make my own crust. Hell, I’ll admit, I usually buy the pie crust you can roll out into your pie tin – one of my favorite cooking shortcuts of all time – but the Whole Foods at Columbus and 97th didn’t have any in stock when I went. (Damn them!) However, I loaded up on ample eggs and heavy cream while I was there, with the newest tin of matcha at my apartment ready to be broken into.
The process was surprisingly easy! I par-baked my pie crust, though, as you can tell from the photos, it did pull away on the sides a bit. The amount of custard I made ended up exceeded the amount of space in the pie crust; this recipe definitely will work better in a deeper pie tin. This was a great lesson in living and learning as you bake! However, the end result, while not as gorgeous as anything I’ve seen at the shop itself or on Instagram, had a wonderfully creamy flavor that had me swooning! For those that might be turned off by the occasional sharp or grassy flavor of matcha, this pie may be a great (re)introduction to it! It’s not overwhelmingly sweet either, the sugar and cream marrying beautifully to mellow out the often sharp flavor of the matcha.
It’s a wonderful pie to start the spring out with. DO IT.
Matcha Custard Pie
(Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe, via Food52)
– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons Ippodo Matcha powder
– 1/2 (8 tablespoons) cup butter, melted
– 3 whole eggs
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 pie crust of choice (pre-made or your own recipe)
(Please note that some of the verbiage in the directions is taken verbatim from Food52.)
1.) At least two hours prior to baking, par-bake your pie crust. (If using a pre-made crust, follow directions on package for how to par-bake. If making homemade crust, please use these directions.)
2.) Preheat the oven to 325° F. Position oven rack in center of oven.
3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and matcha powder. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the melted butter, then the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix briskly until the filling is thin and light colored. Stir in the heavy cream, followed by the vanilla extract.
4.) Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag directly into the pie shell; if you are uncomfortable doing this, strain filling through a fine-mesh sieve , cheesecloth, or nut milk bag into a large bowl, then pour contents of bowl into the pie shell. Be careful not to overfill! Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about to 35 minutes into baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but still wobbles slightly.
5.) Remove pie from oven. Allow pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours. Slice and serve. The pie will keep refrigerated for 1 week or at room temperature for 1 day.