Research: Cream Pies vs. Custard Pies

Thursday, December 8, 2016
It was amazing to see the vast knowledge gaps pop up every time Kyle and I discussed food, and after a while we gave up trying to predict when they'd arrive and what form they'd take. We both love food, but as enthusiastic as we are, there’s no way to know everything. One time, I was describing how I made a banana cream pie, and Kyle mentioned that my preparation sounded more like a custard pie than a cream pie. We suddenly realized that we had no idea what differentiates the two, so I hopped online to do some research.

The difference is a simple one: In custard pies, the pie’s filling and crust are baked together. In cream pies, the crust is made and cooled, and is then filled with custard that has been cooked separately. That’s it. That means that I did, indeed, make a cream pie. It also means that language is downright confounding sometimes.

Other cream pies include the usual flavors you hear about (chocolate cream pie, coconut cream pie, etc.) as well as lemon meringue pie. Even some pies that contain no dairy products belong to the cream pie family. Wild, huh? But as interesting as cream pies are, let’s not ignore the custard pies, which include some big favorites, like key lime pie, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Even though we all now know the difference, let’s not give too much weight to it. No matter which sibling in the Pie Family you select, you’re in for some happiness.