Tarte à la Bouillie

LITERALLY TRANSLATING TO “BURNT MILK TART” IN FRENCH, the tarte à la bouillie is a classic Cajun dessert. Although it’s not as commonly known outside of Louisiana as favorites like pralines and beignets, this sweet treat is a staple on many grandmothers’ tables in the Bayou State. The traditional tart comprises a thick, sugar cookie-like crust and a silky custard filling and uses simple ingredients such as eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, and sugar. Try your hand at baking this iconic confection with our foolproof recipe.

Tarte à la Bouillie
This pie embodies the flavor and comforts of an old-fashioned recipe that doesn’t go out of style.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup cold salted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup salted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Sweetened sliced strawberries
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. For filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, and salt; whisk in milk, cream, and eggs until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is the consistency of pudding, about 10 minutes. (Mixture should hold its shape when whisked.) Remove from heat, and immediately stir in butter and vanilla. Spoon mixture into a medium glass bowl; press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto surface of custard. Let stand at room temperature until cool.
  2. For crust: In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and baking powder until combined. Add butter, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse grits. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yolk, milk, and almond extract. Using a fork, stir egg mixture into flour mixture until liquid is almost combined.
  4. Turn out onto a clean surface. Using your hands, work dough until it comes together into a ball and resembles sugar cookie dough. Shape into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with baking spray with flour.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to prepared pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. (Dough may crack. Press any cracks together to seal.)Spoon custard into crust. Fold edges of dough over filling towards center. (Dough will not completely cover filling.) Brush crust with egg white. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  7. Bake until crust is golden brown and center of filling jiggles slightly, 35 to 40 minutes, covering with foil after 20 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely. Serve with strawberries. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.