It's a simple thing, made with simple ingredients...like most old fashioned Cajun dishes.
And like most classic Cajun dishes, it's the simplicity and honesty in the food that makes it something special.
This pie is made with what we call "sweet dough." The sweet dough crust is more like a sugar cookie or a sweet shortbread than typical pie crust. Sweet dough is often used to make fruit filled turnovers we call "sweet dough pies."
Sweet dough pies are popular treats at local festivals. Actually, they even have their own festival in the fall in Grand Coteau, LA.
But back to the Tarte à la Bouille.
The filling is a simple vanilla custard that can easily be modified with other flavors.
The dough...well...the dough.
Let's just be real for a second. I'm no baker. Truth: I hate baking. It's fussy with measurements and sifting. Softening and chilling. Cutting and rolling. Oh, and lots of dirty dishes.
So why I thought making my own pie dough was a good idea, I'll never know.
I struggled. And it pissed me off. Words were said. Not so nice words.
But the pie did turn out well.
Note: this recipe calls for a lattice top. A bottom crust is pretty much all I could manage. The remaining dough is in my freezer waiting for another day's adventure.
Tarte à la Bouille
slightly adapted from Nun Better: Tastes and Tales from Around a Cajun Table
For the Sweet Dough:
3/4 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and mix well. Sift the flour, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda. Add to the milk mixture and mix to form dough. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours.
Roll out onto a floured surface to fit a 9" pie plate. Use the remaining dough for a lattice top.
For the Custard:
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
Mix sugar, flour, salt, and eggs well in a heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well until the egg mixture is warm. Add all of the egg mixture to the saucepan with the milk. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool slightly and add the vanilla. Spoon the custard into the pie shell and add the lattice top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
More Spring/Easter Desserts...