Vannoliya Pie

Long, long ago when my now big girl, was just a little girl, she would ask me to go through the drive through at Mc Donald’s and get her a “vannoliya pie”. It was the sweetest little thing.

Mickey D’s actually has a few wonderful pies that have well become my favorite. They’ve got the strawberry & cream, the blueberry & cream (it’s hard to find, but it’s good), the pumpkin, the sweet potato (did I have a sweet potato pie there or at Bojangles) and a peaches & cream pie. They’re all good, but I’d have to admit their Holiday {Custard} Pie was one of my favorites. So for Pi-day, I am bringing this thing back to life.

What my little girl called vannoliya pie was a delicious, hand-held vanilla custard pie, wrapped in a flaky, buttery, rainbow-sprinkle infused crust. Totally delicious. Simple, yet complex. A little sweet but not too sweet. I loved it. And she loved it too. What I loved even better was the way in which she’d say, “Vannoliya Pie”. “Vannoliya Pie”. Total music to my ears, and the way that her little voice would say it was even sweeter than the pie.

I could not freeze her in time at that sweet age of 4 years old, but I can make her vannoliya pie, again & again, & again.

For my custard, I started with a crème brulee type of a base. Heavy cream, with sugar, salt, cooked until in thicked, tempering the eggs in, and set aside to cool to make our delicious filling.

For my pie crust, I whipped up a flakey buttery, crust, actually using this recipe, and making sure that the dough did not warm up too much while I kneaded it, I added the rainbow sprinkles, and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.

So, I haven’t quite mastered turning this thing into a hand-held pie, but I do believe that I’ve got the flavor down for the sweet, subtle custard, and the flakey, crusty, buttery, sprinkle-encrusted pie crust. Yay! This one is a win-win!

Vannoliya Pie

For the crust:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of cold butter (cut into cubes)

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 of ice water

1/4 cup non-peril rainbow sprinkles

For the filling:

2 cups of heavy cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp of vanilla extract

3 egg yolks


Making the crust:

  • Begin with very cold butter.
  • Dice the butter into cubes with a sharp knife.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar & salt.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in butter, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time and mix swiftly and gently.
  • Add in just enough water to allow the dough to form into one loose ball.
  • Add in the non-peril sprinkles.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk.
  • Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours overnight.
  • Roll the dough out into the desired size (a 12-13″ circle for a 9″ pie pan).
  • Turn it frequently to maintain it’s shape and to prevent from sticking.
  • Gently roll it over the rolling pin and transfer it to your pie pan.
  • Press the dough evenly into the bottom and the sides of the pie plate.
  • Trim the dough by one inch, to overhang using kitchen sheers or a pizza cutter.
  • Fold the dough under and seal it to form a rim, then crimp the rim with fingertips and knuckles.
  • Using a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the pie crust.
  • Wrap it with plastic wrap in the fridge or the freezer to set it’s shape.
  • The dough must be well-chilled before baking.
  • Add some aluminum foil or parchment paper onto the dough and then weigh it down with uncooked rice, dry un-cooked beans or with pie weights.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees F, for 15-20 minutes or until set and a just light brown. (*Note: You don’t want to over bake it in this process, because you will be re-baking it again once you add the filling).

Making the filling:

  • In a double boiler, warm cream salt, and sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth.
  • Temper in warmed cream into yolk mixture one tablespoon at a time, until fully blended & you’ve added all of the warm cream mixture, to the egg yolk mixture.
  • Pour into pre-baked pie crust and bake in a water bath, for 30-35 minutes, or until firmly set, at 300 degrees.
  • Turn off oven and remove they’re done.
  • Allow to cook at room temperature for 90 minutes in the water bath, and then remove to cool in fridge for 3 to 6 hours.
  • Serve cold with whipped cream (optional) & Enjoy!

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