Egg free custard?
Grandma’s custard pie without butter?
Hello, I am Chef Nico, and you are
on Italia Plant Based, the channel where we cook
traditional Italian recipes,
Let’s get started with the vegan custard.
To do it, you’ll need a few simple
ingredients: soy or almond milk,
corn starch, sugar,
vanilla extract, turmeric,
and the peel of half an organic lemon.
In a medium sized pot, off the heat,
add the soy or almond milk. In either
case better if organic and without
flavours and sweeteners.
Start whisking, while adding
the corn starch.
Then add the sugar, while whisking,
the vanilla extract,
and the turmeric. You’ll see how
the turmeric colours the milk, but without
adding any flavours.
When the ingredients are well mixed together
add the lemon peel. Make sure you
only use the yellow part of the peel,
because the spongy white part could
give a bitter flavour to your custard.
Keep whisking, then when all
ingredients are well incorporated and without any lumps
bring the pot on the heat, on low,
and keep stirring.
Stir touching the bottom of the pot, and the sides.
The custard should start thickening shortly.
Depending on the quantities it might take
between 5 and 10 minutes to thicken.
Then half way through the cooking
take out the lemon peel.
When you’ve reached the desired consistency,
more or less like this one,
take the custard out of the heat
and let it cool down in a glass, metal or porcelain
bowl, that is heat resistant, as the
thermal shock might shatter the bowl.
While the custard is cooling down you still want
to whisk it occasionally, to prevent
lumps. Ok, now our egg-free custard is
Isn’t it super easy?
I promise that it also tastes delicious and light.
And now, while the custard cools down,
we ca start making the
base for the Torta della Nonna.
We make a light shortcrust pastry
without butter and without eggs,
since there’s really no need to eat
so many unhealthy animal-based products.
You’ll see. It’s very easy and very tasty,
and perfect for most pies and “crostate”
like pies with jam. You’ll need:
flour, cornstarch, pinenuts,
sunflower seed oil, soy or almond milk,
apple cider vinegar, salt, baking powder,
powdered sugar and regular sugar.
Add the sugar to a large bowl,
then add the sunflower
see oil, the soy milk,
and start whisking. Then add the apple cider
vinegar (or white wine vinegar) it’ll help
making the cake light. When the ingredients
are all together lump-free, add flour,
cornstarch, baking powder and salt
all at once.
Stir with a spatula
till the ingredients come together
into a thick paste/soft dough.
It should take you about 1 minute.
The dough will be very soft, but it
should’t stick to your fingers.
Now transfer this vegan shortcrust pastry
onto a worktop and knead with your hands
for just the time to bring all
the ingredients together. Don’t overknead.
Then form a ball,
and let it rest in the fridge
covered with a plate, for 30 minutes.
When you let things rest in the fridge
don’t use film or plastic wraps.
A plate is enough. Then after 30 minutes
take the dough out of the fridge
and cut it in 3/4.
Put the leftover dough aside, and
roll the 3/4 dough flat, in between
two sheets of parchment paper.
It’s sooo easy. Try to make it
round and thin – about 4 mm (0.15 inches),
since it’ll rise while cooking.
We use parchment paper to roll the dough
because this way it’s easier to move
the dough around, and place it
in the pie dish without
breaking it. Now you can
grease the pie dish with some oil,
then dust it with flour.
When you are ready, put the dough into the
It must be well fitted into the dish
so use your fingers to gently press the
dough against the edges of the dish. then
trim the edges and make some wholes with a fork.
Now take the leftover dough + the trimmings
make a ball out of it, then flatten it
just like we did before
makeing a thin round disc.
This one can be thinner than the base if you
prefer as it doesn’t have
to hold the custard.
We actually like it
a bit thinner on top.
Now give the custard a stir
then pour it into the pie dish.
With a spoon, evenly spread the custard
across the pie dish, then
seal the pie with the other dough disc
by placing it on top. Here it’s very
important to seal the edges well, or else
the custard will drip out while the pie cooks.
To do that, with your index finger, push down
the edges of the dough
till the top disc is sealed to the bottom disc.
Apply quite a bit of pressure.
You must be sure that the pie is completely
sealed. Then with a fork make some
holes on top, then brush the top with
soy or almond milk, before adding the pinenuts on top.
You can add as many as you like. It’s really up to you.
Cook a preheated oven
at 180C/356F for 45 minutes.
When you put it in the oven
don’t place it on a baking tray, but rather
on a baking rack.
We do this because the baking tray
becomes too hot, and will overcook the base of our pie.
Ok, now take the pie out of the oven
and let it cool for at least 1 hour.
The take it out of the pie dish.
We use a very old one so we need to
flip the pie with a plate.
But you can use a pie dish with removable base.
When the pie has cooled down,
dust it with a generous amount of
powdered sugar and here you go.
You are going to love this!
It cuts perfectly, the dough is
cooked perfectly and our vegan custard keeps the
shape. You’ll notice immediately that this
Grandma’s custard cake without egg, without butter,
and without milk, is a lot lighter than
a standard pie, but it has all the
distinct and delicious flavour.
I always really struggle to take pictures
of cakes because I just want to dig in.
And since we loved it soo much
we decided to do a version without
the top. This one is even easier to make
but you’ll definitely need a pie dish with
I’m going to show you quiclky.
Here too we use the same base,
with the same ingredients and procedures, just
half the dose since the pie only has
dough at the bottom.
Here too the base should be about 4mm thin (0.15 inches)
as it will rise while cooking.
As usual oil and dust the pie dish with flour
This time removable base please.
Then when you are ready put in the dough
and like before, fit it in well,
but pushing down with your fingers.
Trim the edges and
with a fork make some holes
both on the bottom
and on the side of the pie.
Now fill it in with the custard,
a good amount, and spread it evenly.
I like to push down the edges a bit as they’ll
grow while cooking, then sprinkle with a bit of
sugar, before adding the pine nuts.
We are almost there, cook it in a
preheated oven at 180C/356F for 45 min.
And here you go.
Another version of our vegan grandma’s pie.
Let it cool down,
take it out of the pie dish, and serve it
We really like this one too.
Light, sweet, yummy, both the base
and the custard will make you fall in
love with vegan baking.
Let us know which one you like better,
and which you are used to eating.
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So long, Buon appetito and see you next time.
All credits go to Italia Plant Based