Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours
8 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

How to Make It

Step 1

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under, and flute. Bake piecrust according to package directions. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 2

Combine milk and the next 4 ingredients (through ginger) in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until the mixture reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat. Add tea bag; cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve over a bowl, and discard solids. Return milk mixture to pan, and cook over medium-high heat until the milk reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge.

Step 3

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring well. Gradually add the hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan, and cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter.

Step 4

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until filling cools, stirring occasionally. Spoon mixture into crust; cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill 3 hours or until set; remove plastic wrap. Top pie with whipped topping; garnish with ground cinnamon.

Ratings & Reviews

Kkay68's Review

February 13, 2013
Fantastic!!! Delicious!!! I made this for my Bunco group and once they stopped ohhing and ahhing they all wanted the recipe. I did take the advice of the other reviewers and added more cardamom (can't find pods? 1/6 tsp ground = 1 pod) and 2 more cloves, plus @ 1/8 tsp nutmeg and about the same of vanilla. I couldn't find star anise as some suggested, but I think it was fine without it. Will try it next time if I can find it. As with any custard, you can't take your eyes off of it for a minute. Stir, stir, stir. This recipe is a bit of work, but the results are so worth it. I will make this again and again.

DanikaNika's Review

August 19, 2012
I took heed of the other reviews and added more spices than the original version asked for. So I basically just added the amount of spices I usually add when making chai tea: 10 cardamom pods, 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves, 1/2 inch ginger. Then I crush them a bit and tie them up in a coffee filter, so I don't have to strain it later. In addition, I made a second pie replacing the 2% milk with soy milk, and it tasted just like a soy chai latte, I prefer the regular version, but the soy was still delicious. I also wanted to point out how important it is to continue to stir the milk mixture once it is added back to the pan, I turned around for a minute and when I came back it had one lump that suddenly turned into a whole lot of lumps. I immediately took it off the heat a whisked it vigorously, so it retuned to the desired consistency. I also used frozen instead of refrigerated pie dough.

CW1979's Review

September 25, 2011
Having read the reviews before trying out the recipe, I added extra spices and used two tea bags instead of 1. Instead of cardamom pods, I used 10 whole nutmeg. I used 10 cloves, added a little more ginger, added 1/2 of an extra cinnamon stick, and 8 whole allspice. I did stir the custard for the whole 10 minutes and the recipes instructs and the cream was smooth, not lumpy. The pie was light and perfect for ending a weekend dinner. Tastes just like a chai tea latte!

MrsT12's Review

September 17, 2011
I have had this pie three time, making it twice. I followed the directions the first time and agreed with the other comments about it not being spicy enough. I added 2 cardamom pods, 2 cloves, 1/2 of a cinnamon stick, a tad bit more ginger, a touch of nutmeg and 1 star anise pod. I also soaked two tea bags for the first five minutes. Also, during the last stop on the stove, I stirred with the whisk to keep the lumpiness down. This is the best version I have had yet!

One2cook's Review

June 15, 2011
One of the previous reviews mentioned the lumpiness which I had problems with when I stepped away from the stove. You have to stir constantly which I did not do - BIG mistake! The flavor was good, but I couldn't get past the lumps, so I ended up throwing the pie away. I will try this pie again when I have more time to stand around and stir.

DesertBorn54's Review

May 23, 2011
My daughter loves chai tea, so I decided to try this for her birthday pie. Taking a hint from some other suggestions, I very slightly increased each of the spices and added a touch of anise seed and nutmeg. It was wonderful - subtle yet flavorful with a wonderful fragrance. It was so easy and wonderfully creamy. I used a frozen pie crust and real whipped cream.

beachgalny's Review

May 17, 2011
This took a little more work than I anticipated because you have to really stay put while doing the steps that involve milk. I forgot the pot on the stove during the last step and returned to find a lumpy mess. What makes this recipe so outstanding, though, is the flavor; it was so good that the pie was a hit in spite of the lumpiness! I made two major and one minor change to the recipe: instead of using refrigerated pie dough (really? cancer-causing preservative-enhanced lard doesn't sit well with me...), I used a frozen pre-made whole-wheat pie crust; I used organic heavy whipping cream--with a little sugar and vanilla--instead of whipped topping for the top (yes, it adds fat, but I prefer it to the trans fat and chemicals in whipped topping); and I added one pod of star anise to the spices in the milk. I received several compliments on this pie and many requests for the recipe. It's really fantastic!

BeckiSue's Review

April 23, 2011
Made homemade pie crust and whipped cream, but the flavor of the cream was just too subtle. It wasn't bad. Trust me, we managed to finish the pie with no trouble. :-) It just wasn't spectacular, and I followed the recipe for the cream part of the pie exactly.

gamarilys's Review

April 20, 2011
I made this over the weekend and it was a hit! super easy. I didn't have the cardamon so I used a bit of nutmeg. It was great!! definitely a keeper