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Vanilla Cream Pie

Indulge in a slice of pure nostalgia with this classic vanilla cream pie! The buttery, flaky crust, creamy custard filling, and cloud of freshly whipped cream on top are pure bliss.

Every time I make this treat, it takes me right back to grandma’s kitchen. It’s so easy to make, too.

A slice of Vanilla Cream Pie on a plate.

It’s a timeless dessert and never fails to bring a smile to everyone’s face. It’s guaranteed to impress at any gathering!

If you’re a fan of old-fashioned recipes, you’ll love this one!

Why You’ll Love This Vanilla Cream Pie

Nostalgic Indulgence: This rich, creamy custard pie brings back fond memories of a bygone era.

Crowd-Pleasing Classic: Its simple yet satisfying flavors appeal to all ages and palates.

Rich, Creamy Texture: The combination of whole milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks creates a luxurious, velvety filling.

Make-Ahead: You can prep this in advance and chill until serving for fuss-free entertaining.

Vanilla Cream Pie With Slice Missing

Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour: It’s the foundation of a flaky, buttery pie crust.
  • Salt: A touch of salt enhances the crust’s flavor and balances the filling’s sweetness.
  • Unsalted Butter: Chilled and cubed, it provides richness and flakiness to the crust. Using unsalted allows you to control the salt content.
  • Ice Water: The binding agent brings the pie dough together. Add it gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the perfect consistency.
  • Whole Milk: It creates a luscious, creamy filling when combined with heavy cream. Avoid lower-fat milk for the best texture.
  • Heavy Cream: It’s essential for an ultra-rich, smooth custard filling. Don’t substitute with half-and-half or milk.
  • Granulated Sugar: It sweetens the vanilla custard filling just the right amount.
  • Cornstarch: The thickening agent sets the filling as it cooks on the stovetop.
  • Large Egg Yolks: Egg yolks add richness and help thicken and set the custard filling. Temper them with care to avoid scrambling.
  • Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste: High-quality vanilla provides the signature flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar: A few tablespoons gently sweeten the whipped cream topping for the perfect finishing touch.
Whole vanilla cream pie in a glass pie dish.

How to Make Vanilla Cream Pie

The recipe steps are so easy to follow! 

1. CRUST: Make the pastry in a food processor, then wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes. When chilled, roll it out, and blind bake in a 9-inch pie plate. Cool completely.

2. FILLING: Cook the milk, cream, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, whisking constantly until thickened.

3. TEMPER: Slowly whisk some of the hot cream into the beaten eggs, then return everything to the saucepan and cook until thick.

4. CHILL: Pour the filling into the cooled crust, smooth the top, and press plastic wrap onto the surface. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

5. SERVE: Beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread the whipped cream over the pie. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

A slice of vanilla cream pie in a white plate, whole pie dish with slice missing in the background.

Tips for the Best Vanilla Cream Pie

These simple tips will make your pie incredible. 

  • Keep the dough chilly. Refrigerate the pie dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out to prevent shrinking and ensure a flaky crust.
  • Don’t over-whisk! Gently whisk the egg mixture to avoid incorporating too much air, which can cause bubbles during baking.
  • Choose a fun crust. For different flavors and textures, consider using a graham cracker, shortbread, or chocolate cookie crust.
  • Vary up the flavor. Add a layer of chocolate ganache, mix in some fruit puree, or use different extracts like almond or coconut.
  • Get creative with toppings. Garnish with fresh berries, crushed cookies, a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon, caramel, or chocolate sauce in addition to the whipped cream.

How to Store

Keep your pie fresh with these tips:

To Store: Refrigerate the pie, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. The custard filling will start to weep, and the crust will become soggy after that.

To Freeze: Freezing will change the texture and flavor, so I don’t recommend it. If you must freeze it, wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and consume it within 2 months for best results.

More Cream Pies You’ll Love

Lemon Cream Pie
Boston Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Vanilla Cream Pie

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

403

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Vanilla cream pie is pure bliss! With its silky custard, buttery crust, and a cloud of whipped cream, it’s the perfect blend of flavors and textures. Each bite is a comforting hug in dessert form.

Ingredients

  • For the Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

  • For the Filling
  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

  • For the Topping
  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together, adding the last tablespoon of water if needed. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges and crimp decoratively. Prick the bottom all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights and bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool completely.
  • Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks to temper them, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  • Before serving, make the topping: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pie. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Using both milk and heavy cream in the filling makes it extra rich and luscious.
  • Tempering the egg yolks before adding them to the hot milk prevents curdling for a silky smooth texture.
  • Pressing plastic wrap directly on the filling prevents skin from forming.
  • A combination of butter and vanilla extract or paste provides the best flavor.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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