Apr 1, 2015

Spring Dessert {Old Fashioned Cajun Tarte à la Bouille}

Tarte à la Bouille, or custard pie, is an old time Cajun dessert.

Tarte à la Bouille | Ms. enPlace

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.

Tarte à la Bouille | Ms. enPlace

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.

Tarte à la Bouille | Ms. enPlace

The filling is a simple vanilla custard that can easily be modified with other flavors.

Tarte à la Bouille | Ms. enPlace

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.  

Tarte à la Bouille | Ms. enPlace

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.

Featured at:
April J Harris of The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop

  Print It

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 egg

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...
Heavenly Hash Cake
Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Gold Bricks

Linking with:
What'd You Do This Weekend
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Lou Lou Girls Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Celebrate It!
My Turn for us
Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds


  1. My Mother-In-Law used to make this pie, except she used nutmeg. She did not share her recipe, but looks like I have found it. :)

  2. Thanks Michelle- I bet Gabe's parents would love this. I'll have to save your link and the next time we visit them I'll make this little goodie .


  3. I'm not familiar with this type of tarteb, it sounds incredible! Pinning to try. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!

  4. I really enjoyed learning more about Tarte a la Bouille, Michelle. It sounds delicious and looks beautiful too. (And don't worry, sometimes when I make pastry words are said too!!) Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Pinning and tweeting!

  5. Ha! I love your Bad Word Tarte, Michelle. I think you are incredibly brave to try this since you don't like to bake. Also since you don't like to bake, I can see where the thought of making a lattice top would be more than you could bear. I love to bake and make pie crusts, but even I don't much like to fuss with lattice tops. :D Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday! :)

  6. Michelle, your Torte looks wonderful, I would love to have a slice of this dessert. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. I'm not familiar with this tart, but it sure looks and sounds DELICIOUS !!
    I think it was worth your while and nerves making your own dough.
    Lovely photos btw

  8. This custard pie reminds me of a childhood favorite dessert! Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

  9. Very impressive! It looks so good, I can't wait to try it!


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