Making the filling for cream pies is quite simple but does require some time. To this basic custard, add different ingredients for a banana, chocolate, lemon, or coconut cream pie.



  • 2 1/2 cups milk (2% works)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Meringue Topping

  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Baking Time: 20-25 minutes for crust and meringue
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 1-9 inch pie

    1. In a large saucepan or 2-quart microwave dish, mix together milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, butter, and egg yolks. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Boil for one minute. Whisk in butter and vanilla. Boil for one more minute. Or micro-wave uncovered on high for 8 minutes until boiling, whisking halfway through cooking time. Boil one minute. Whisk in butter and vanilla. Boil for one more minute.
    2. Pour into baked 9-inch pie shell and let cool.
    3. Top with meringue.


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high until foamy and stiff
    3. On low speed, gradually add sugar, salt, and vanilla.
    4. Turn up to high speed and beat well, until stiff and glossy.
    5. Spread over cooled pie filling and seal by spreading meringue so that it touches crust.
    6. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown. Watch carefully so as not to burn peaks of meringue.


    1. Slice 3 bananas into baked pie shell. Pour custard over bananas and top with meringue. Bake 12 minutes.


    1. Add 1/2 cup cocoa or 3 square unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 cup more sugar to Basic Custard recipe. Pour into baked pie shell. Cover with meringue and bake.


    1. Stir 1/4 cup coconut into 1 recipe Basic Cream Filling after cooking. Pour into baked pie shell, top with meringue and sprinkle 1/4 cup coconut over top before baking.


  1. Prepare Basic Custard recipe adding 1/4 cup additional sugar and eliminating vanilla. After cooking, whisk in butter, zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2 lemons (1/2 cup juice). Pour into baked pie shell and top with meringue. Bake as directed.