Strawberry Custard Pie with Easy Homemade Basil Pie Crust for Pi Day

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Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

One of my favorite days in March is the 14th. If you’re a math fiend, like me, you know it as Pi Day. The mathematical figure 3.14, coined “Pi,” translates to the date of 3/14… get it? So, in honor of the punny math date, I decided to create a delicious and springy strawberry custard pie with homemade basil crust.

This pie features all of my favorite components. Perfectly balanced, the ultra-creamy vanilla custard is topped with just-tart-enough strawberry pie topping. Then, it all sits encased in a beautifully flaky and buttery homemade pie crust, with just a hint of basil. Don’t worry – it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly herbal. The basil simply adds a lovely fresh element to counteract the sweetness and tartness of the fillings. It’s a delicious amalgamation of all things spring!

Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

Plus, I’ve decorated the crust with some festive braids, flowers, and – of course – some of the first digits of Pi! Perfect with or without the Pi decoration, this pie is going to be one of your new favorites for sure!

Alright, alright: less talk-y, more bake-y! First, peruse the list of kitchen tools you’ll need to complete this dish! Then, check out my Fool-Proof Pie Crust method. Finally, scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe card. Enjoy!

Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

Kitchen Tools To Create Your Strawberry Custard Pie

To make your own Pi Day Pie (or any-day pie!) you’ll need the following materials. I’ve included links (affiliate) to each of the items for easy shopping in case you’re missing anything!

Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

Fool-Proof Pie Crust Recipe & Method

This past fall, I published a comprehensive guide for fool-proof pie crust! In today’s post, I won’t discuss the tips, tricks, or science of baking and decorating with pie crust as deeply or thoroughly as I do in the guide. However, I’d recommend taking a look at it before getting started:

Fool-Proof, Science-Backed Pie Crust Recipe, Method, and Decorating Tips

This helpful guide is full of photos and explanations of what makes pie crust so flaky, how to tell if it’s perfectly hydrated (with a super-easy visual hack!), and decorating ideas/tips.

It also discusses my favorite way to handle pie crust so as not to overwork it or melt the butter. You can read it and check out TWO helpful videos by clicking the link above.

Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

Strawberry and Custard Pie with Buttery Basil Pie Crust

Once you’ve perused my pie crust guide, you’re ready to bake! Feel free to print out this recipe or save it to Pinterest using any of the photos for future reference. Trust me – this is one you’ll want to make again, and again.

Strawberry and Custard Pie with Buttery Basil Homemade Pie Crust

This delicious spring pie consists of creamy vanilla custard and juicy, just-tart-enough strawberries. It sits atop a flaky, buttery, and delicate basil pie crust. The most delicious amalgamation of everything spring!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword basil, basil pie crust, custard, custard pie, pie, pie crust, strawberry, strawberry and custard, strawberry basil, strawberry pie
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

Homemade Buttery Basil Pie Crust

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • ¾ cup cold butter (1½ sticks)
  • ¼ cup cold vegetable shortening
  • cup cold vodka (you may not need all of it)
  • cup cold water (you may not need all of it)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 egg

Vanilla Custard Pie Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp corn starch

Strawberry Pie Filling

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 lb fresh strawberries

Instructions

Homemade Buttery Basil Pie Crust

  • Mix the water and vodka and place it, along with cubed butter and shortening, in the freezer to chill for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl or the bowl of your food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and basil.
  • Then, cut in the cold butter and shortening until it resembles pea-sized clumps. To do this with a food processor, simply pulse the blades around multiple times, until the consistency resembles pea-sized clumps. With a pastry cutter or forks, use a downward pressing motion to cut in the butter to the dry mixture, until it resembles the above description.
  • Add half of your chilled water/vodka liquid and mix the dough again in the same manner as above until it all is moistened. Grab a chunk of the crust dough, press together, and then split it in half. If it crumbles, add more water, mixing again. Repeat until the clump of dough breaks somewhat cleanly into two halves.
  • Turn the dough out onto two separate pieces of plastic wrap, splitting the mixture roughly in half. Knead each set of dough a few times between the plastic until it holds together. Be careful not to over-work the dough. It may still be a little crumbly but pull the plastic wrap together to seal it, and then wrap once more for extra security. Place both discs of dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight, if possible.
  • After your dough has rested, preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Remove the dough discs from the refrigerator and roll them out into two flat crust pieces, large enough to fit well over your pie dish. Place the smaller one back into the refrigerator to chill for later. This will be the top crust. Take the larger crust and place it carefully into your pie dish. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork a few times. Then, place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust, and then fill the pie with your pie weights. Make sure the parchment paper extends over the top of the sides of the crust, to prevent burning.
  • Bake the bottom pie crust for 20-25, or until almost fully cooked. If the edges start browning too much, cover them with tin foil.
  • Remove the pie from the oven, and set the pie weights aside. Remove the parchment paper and foil. In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and egg. Use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer over the bottom and sides of the pie crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 3-5 more minutes, or until cooked. Set aside to cool slightly while preparing the next components.

Vanilla Custard Pie Filling

  • Mix the milk and heavy cream in a medium-sized saucepan, and put it over medium heat. Slice your vanilla bean in half, and scrape out the seeds from the inside. Place the seeds and the cut pod pieces in the pan. Bring it to a slight boil, then turn off the heat. Let the vanilla infuse in this milk while you prepare the other ingredients, or for about 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and nutmeg.
  • Turn the heat back up on the milk mixture, and let it come just to a scald (barely bubbling.) Scoop out the vanilla pods and discard. Once the mixture is scalding, pour a small amount into the egg mixture, constantly whisking, to temper the eggs. This prevents them from scrambling. Once combined, pour the egg mixture into the remaining vanilla milk and whisk constantly over medium heat until it thickens. It will continue thickening in the oven, but you want it pretty thick going in.
  • Strain the mixture through the sieve once to remove any clumps, and then let sit, covered with plastic wrap on the surface of the custard, until you're ready to assemble the pie, after the strawberries are finished, if you haven't done that already.

Strawberry Pie Filling

  • Chop your strawberries into half-inch pieces.
  • Combine, in a bowl, the strawberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch, and lemon zest. Assemble pie.

Assembling & Finishing The Strawberry Custard Pie

  • To your pre-baked pie crust, pour in the custard. Then, carefully, top the custard with the strawberries.
  • Cover the pie with your second crust. You can create braids, cut-outs, or other decorations for fun!
  • Brush the top crust with your heavy cream/egg mixture, and then cover the edges lightly with tin foil.
  • Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. If you place a knife into the pie, there should be no custard that comes out on the knife. You can remove the foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking to brown it to your liking.
  • Let cool. You can cut it warm, but the pie holds together better when it's cooled fully. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

Voila and Happy Spring!

I hope you enjoy your lovely strawberry and custard pie – the buttery basil pie crust is game-changing, in my opinion!

Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch, and be sure to tag me in any photos you post of your spring pies! I love to see your works of culinary art.

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Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

Take care guys! Until next time…

XOXO

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P.S.

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P.P.S

Addicted to Pinterest, like me? Pin one of the images below to save this recipe for later or show it to your friends. After all, sharing is caring. 😉

Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out. Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out. Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out. Strawberry Custard Pie with Homemade Basil Pie Crust - decorated with pie crust braids, pie crust flowers, and Pi cut out.

 

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