I grew up in Ventura County. I was born in Inglewood, CA, and my parents bought a house in Oxnard, CA. when I was 3 years old. Prior to that I think we lived in Navy housing on the Navy base as my dad was a Chief in the Navy.
Most of the time, my parents were pretty consistent and frugal to make most of our meals at home. However, we used to splurge to go out on the weekends. Fridays were pizza or “B-Donalds” which is what I called McDonald’s for some unknown reason. To this day, my brother teases me that I was unable to pronounce several words such as the popular fast food chain. On Sundays after church or when we had family visitors, we would go out for a meal at the Wagon Wheel restaurant (no longer there) or Loop’s Cafeteria in Ventura.
At Loop’s, I really don’t remember a ton except it had a long line to the counter. It seemed to have walls that enclosed the line, but that’s from a 3 year old perspective? We ordered everything at a counter and then there were some items that you would just pick up and carry on your tray. I don’t recall what I would have eaten for an entree, but the Custard Pie was my favorite dessert and my parents would pick that out on the tray as a treat each time. I guess cause it’s sort of a pudding texture but in a pie? The only other thing that I remember asking for was cottage cheese, which was my favorite thing. (I’ll save my dad’s cottage cheese sundaes for another blog.) Trust me, I was an old soul kid with an old lady palette apparently.
I haven’t had custard pie for several years as it’s not something that is easily found. I rarely find this pie served in any restaurant these days, but maybe it will make a comeback after this post! I did a quick search on pinterest and found a recipe to try. It was very easy to make. It’s not the exact flavor from the Loop’s version that I can remember but I think it will do the trick and satisfy the reminiscing!
This is a recipe originally found via spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com
3 cups of milk
1 cup sugar (I ended up adding a smidge more to sweeten the custard, maybe a tablespoon or two)
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
dash of nutmeg
1 unbaked pie crust
Preheat the oven for 350 degrees F.
Prep your unbaked pie crust in a pie plate. I simply crimped the edges in a simple standard ruffle by pinching the dough with one hand around a finger on your other hand. You leave a fingers width between each ruffle and then it’s very easy to pinch the next ruffle and keep moving all the way around the plate.
Beat the sugar, eggs, nutmeg and vanilla together. Add the milk and whisk all of it together until smooth. Next just pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Sprinkle the top with as much nutmeg as you like.
I made this pie twice to make sure I liked it before I shared it. The first pie seemed I followed exactly to the recipe. The second pie, I added just a little bit more sugar and I think it made a difference. Don’t go overboard on that add of sugar, but a tablespoon more won’t hurt this recipe.
As this is liquid in a shallow plate, you have to move quite slowly to move it in the oven. Once it’s there, don’t plan on moving it until it’s set and baked.
Bake this pie for about 45 mins or until the custard is set. You can put a knife in the middle to see if it comes out clean to check.
If you don’t care for custard or a creme brulee type consistency, this is not your pie. But if you do, it’s yummy. It could pair nicely with fruit or just a little whipped cream perhaps. I’d love it if you tell me how your pie tasted and if you enjoyed making this pie. It definitely brought back happy memories of family restaurant visits for me. What was your favorite food when you were a kid?