Easy as pie

This creamy custard pie is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. I chose this recipe for two reasons:

First, Father's Day is Sunday, and my dad happens to love custard pie.

Second, the pie uses ingredients from my pantry, refrigerator and freezer, and we're inviting everyone to join in an Eating Down the Fridge challenge.

The challenge is a great way to make use of what you already have. The staples in this pie include a can of sweetened condensed milk, eggs and a frozen pie shell, all of which I usually keep in stock.

My friend and former china-painting instructor, Carol Craig, of North Augusta, shared the recipe with me.

She said this was one of the best custard pies she'd ever had, and I agree. The texture is dense and creamy, a lot like Mexican flan in a pie crust (without the caramel).

The original recipe, which came from one of her china-painting students, called for topping the unbaked pie with thin slivers of butter. I tested the recipe with and without the butter and couldn't tell a difference, so I omitted butter to reduce the fat content.

If you are a fan of coconut custard pie, add 1 cup of sweetened coconut to the rest of the ingredients.

CREAMY CUSTARD PIE

1 deep-dish unbaked frozen pie shell

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Ground nutmeg, to taste

Set oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the boiling water. The mixture will be thin and foamy. Pour into the shell and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake for 20-25 minutes more, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 8 servings.

GROCERY LIST

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Eggs (you will need 3)

1 deep-dish frozen pie shell (packages come with 2)

PANTRY: Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon) and ground nutmeg (a pinch)

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE cream pie recipe? Post recipes at augustachronicle.com/karin.

MS. CALLOWAY WOULD like to include reader input, so send requests to karin.calloway@comcast.net.

E-mail Karin at karin.calloway@comcast.net. You can see her prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on television station WJBF (Channel 6). Follow Karin on Twitter at twitter.com/karincalloway.

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