Earl Grey Pie say whaaaaat?! I was so excited when I began to formulate on how to make this pie. I have a friend’s wedding coming up on Saturday and I was asked to make pies for the reception as the wedding is on March 14, 3/14, 3.14 aka Pi Day or Pie Day!
One kind of pie that was requested was an Earl Grey Pie. It starts off with a flaky pie crust, then a layer of chocolate ganache. Once that has set, the earl grey pastry cream is added and topped off with whipping cream and pistachios. It is a little bit high maintenance in that there are so many different layers going on, but the result is worth it.
I decided to adapt my own traditional vanilla custard pastry cream into an earl grey pastry cream. The only difference between this earl grey and the vanilla is that you steep the milk with the tea bags as opposed to vanilla. The result is a fragrant velvety pie to be shared around the table!
Update: For a Step by Step photo tutorial, see my post on Earl Grey Pastry Cream!
Earl Grey Pie
recipe inspired by Pie Hole, Los Angeles & Pasadena
Flaky Pie Crust
recipe from Tartine Bakery
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c very cold water (I placed in freezer for 5-10 min)
1 1/2 c + 1 Tbsp flour
1/2 c + 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
Dissolve salt in water and keep refrigerated until needed. In a food processor, pulse the butter and flour until it forms large crumbs. Slowly add in water while pulsing, until it loosely holds together. Roll it together so that it holds, wrap in sarane wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When completely chilled, roll out to be 1/8 in thick and cover the pie tins. Use the back of a knife to cut off any excess dough. Use a knife to prick the bottom of the crust. Line the tops with parchment paper and weigh it down with baking weights (beans, rice, etc). Bake for 20-25 min, until golden brown around the sides. Remove the parchment paper and bake for 5 more min, until all moisture has evaporated from the crust. Allow the crust to cool completely on a wire rack.
Earl Grey Pastry Cream
adapted from Tartine Bakery’s Pastry Cream
2 cups milk
5 bags Earl Grey Tea Bags (I use Twinings Earl Grey)
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
Heat the milk, tea bags, and salt in a sauce pan on low for 5-10 minutes, constantly stirring until the color turns a medium-light grey color. If some tea leaves fall out, it is okay, you will strain it out later. Once it has reached the desired color, remove tea bags and bring the milk to a gentle boil. Take it off the heat and strain the milk into a separate bowl to remove any bits of burt milk or tea leaves. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, sugar, and eggs in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Add half of the boiling milk into the sugar mixture to temper the eggs, then return this mixture into the saucepan along with the rest of the milk. Whisk continuously on medium high heat until the cornstarch cooks and the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and whisk until smooth and completely incorporated. Pour into a heatproof bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface of the cream to cool to avoid the creation of a “skin” layer. Allow to cool completely before using, about 3-4 hours. The cooled earl grey pastry cream should be very firm, needing to be lightened with whipped cream before using.
Once ready to use, whip up the whipping cream with remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar until thick. Scoop out the pastry cream and whisk in the whipping cream until completely smooth.
1 fully cooled pie shell
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
Earl Grey Pastry Cream
1/2 c ready to whip whipping cream (I recommend Pastry Pride)
Small handful pistachios, roughly chopped
Heat up the heavy whipping cream in a heatproof bowl until it is bubbly. Add in chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the chocolate onto the pie shell and allow it to cool completely.
Whip up the ready to whip whipping cream until it holds a stiff peak. Meanwhile, take the earl grey pastry cream and fill the pie. Smooth out the top. Take the stiff peak ready to whip whipping cream and spoon onto the top and spread it out. Decorate with pistachios. Serve cold.
28 thoughts on “Earl Grey Pie”
Hi-I’ve just made your Earl Grey filling and am delighted with it. I’ put it in tiny individual pastry shells made in petit fours tins and put crumbled chocolate meringue on top. Only because I’ve got some spare meringues and am down to make sweets for my sister’s birthday. She always drinks Earl Grey tea so should be a winner! Just coming into autumn in South Australia so this is perfect- light but with the warmth of bergamot. Cheers for the recipe!
Have you tried their Bourbon Banana Cream Pie? It’s divine… I wish I could find a recipe for it!
Hi I have a question about the heavy whipping cream–do you use pastry pride ready to whip topping throughout the recipe, or do you only use the pastry pride for the topping only (where you specified ready to whip whipping cream)? Thanks!
Pastry pride is used throughout the entire recipe, so for both the pastry cream and the topping!
I’m so excited to try making this pie! I don’t have much experience with cream pies. How far in advance can I make this pie? Is 2 days too early? Or should I make the pie and filling 2 days ahead and put it all together the night before?
Hi Jenny, the pie crust can be made several days in advance! When I have to make large amounts of these I bake the crust one week in advance, and it is still good :) All you have to do is put it in an airtight container (I use gallon size freezer bags) for up to a week. Just don’t put it in direct sunlight. Once you are ready to use it, fill with ganache when you are ready to fill the pie. The pastry cream will be fine two days in advance (make sure the cling wrap is still on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent it from forming a top layer “crust”). So the night before you want to sere the pie, I would spread the ganache onto the pie crust, whip the pastry cream with the whipped cream and put it all together. It IS fine to do this two days in advance as well, but with each day, the pastry cream will begin to dry out and a skin may form on the pastry cream that is exposed to air. If need be, I would make sure the whipping cream covers the entire top of the cake to keep it moist. Hope this helps and best of luck!!
First off, THANK YOU so much for figuring out this pie. I live in Los Angeles, and have refused to stand in line for almost an hour to get a slice. I found your website, and I am sooooo happy that you’ve sorted it all out. This pie is so good. You’ve won me over!
Thank you so much for trying it! Very glad you like it!!
This pie is amazing. I’ve made it twice now and my wife couldn’t be happier. We’ve been to the Pie Hole and I think this recipe definitely holds up. Thanks for figuring it out!
That’s awesome! Thank you for trying and glad you like it!! :)
Hi! I tried your recipe but the earl grey filling came out more like very loose pudding instead of having a firm texture. Is there anything i might have done wrong? Thanks! The taste is great though. I just wasn’t able to cut a slice without everything spilling everywhere.
Hi! Thank you for trying the recipe! Hmm it sounds like the the cornstarch wasn’t cooked long enough on the stove. It needs to be cooked until it is a thick pudding like consistency. After it is cooked and cools, it will thicken even more. I also have a step by step post on how to make the Earl Grey Pastry Cream, you can click the link at the top of the recipe! Hope it turns out well for you!
I’ve made this pie twice now. It’s a bit of trouble to get all the ingredients and put the layers together, but very satisfying to enjoy at the end. People all want to try it when I tell them what it is, and they’ve all liked it. Thanks for figuring out the recipe!
Thank you for trying it! I know there’s a lot of different components to it but I think it’s all worth it! I’m so glad that all your guests liked it as well!
Hello! I made your pie and the taste was awesome & people loved it. The only thing that happened was my cream broke once i mixed the EG cream and the whipped heavy cream. I could see the white spots in the cream and the taste was grainy. Do you know how i can fix this??? I
Hi! I’m so glad you gave it a try and they liked the taste of it! I think I know of the graininess you are talking about. Some things that I have tried in the past were to make sure the pastry cream does not overcook. As soon as it thickens to just a bubble, take it off the heat and whisk in the melted butter until it is all incorporated. Also, the consistency and quality of the heavy whipping cream may also affect the finished product. I use “Pastry Pride ready to whip,” which is a smoother, more stable whipping cream (I get mine from Smart & Finals freezer section). Make sure that the cream is whipped to stiff, but not firm peaks. If it is too firm, it will be harder for it to incorporate. Once the whipped cream is ready, you want to continue to whisk the pastry cream and the whipped cream together until it is one homogeneous mixture. I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes and good luck!
I just heard about the Pie Hole’s Earl Grey pie. Bergamot would make a wonderful pie. It never occurred to me before, but as a citrus fruit, it’s a natural. Thank you for figuring out how to make it. I am assuming the chocolate chips should be semi-sweet or dark chocolate? I will make this as soon as I can. Earl Grey tea is our favorite at home after a long day.
Yes definitely give it a try!! I use semi-sweet chocolate as I find that the dark chocolate becomes too strong and can overpower the flavor of the earl grey. The semi-sweet complements it without taking the spotlight away from the tea flavor! Hope you are able to give this a try!
literally went to The Pie Hole yesterday and had their early grey pie (SO good… very floral) and am making this recipe now!
Earl grey is amazing!! I hope it went well for you!
Ohhhh yeah, I’m definitely adding this to my to-bake list!
Thank you!! Hope you give it a try!