Tarte au la Bouillie

After pressing out the dough for her Tarte au la Bouillie (a traditional Cajun custard pie), Alzina Toups saves the scraps and makes them into cookies. “Old timers called them Pillowcase Cookies,” she says. “When the oystermen went out, they’d nail a sack of them to the back of the boat. When they wanted a cookie, there they were.”

Tarte au la Bouillie
Serves 8
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  1. ½ cup sugar
  2. 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  3. 3 cups cold half-and-half
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. Sweet Dough, recipe follows
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. In another small bowl, add half-and-half. Stir cornstarch mixture into the half-and-half.
  3. In a medium saucepan, cook half-and-half mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat. Once slightly cooled, place plastic wrap over surface to prevent skin from forming.
  4. On a well-floured surface, roll Sweet Dough into a 13-inch circle; transfer to a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Add half-and-half mixture, and fold remaining dough over onto the half-and-half mixture.
  5. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let pie cool to room temperature, then refrigerate 4 hours before slicing.
Louisiana Cookin https://www.louisianacookin.com/
Sweet Dough
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  1. 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  4. ½ cup butter, cut into tablespoons
  5. 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  6. 1 tablespoon whole milk
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring until liquid is almost combined. Using your hands, work dough until it just comes together into a large ball. Shape into a disk.
  3. Cover disk with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Louisiana Cookin https://www.louisianacookin.com/


  1. Lenie September 29, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

    OMG! My mom made this all the time when I was a kid. She made them in individual sized pies that you could grab and go. Thank you so much for posting.

  2. rodney October 3, 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

    my grandmother used to make me this and ive often wondered how to make it . cant wait to try it!

  3. Darlene October 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    My grandma made these all the time , it was our favorite desert .
    Now a days they made only on Holidays not in my family it’s all the time .
    And she s used the sweet dough to make tea cookies ..
    They we’re an old time favorite cookies.
    Thanks for bringing great memories back .
    I couldn’t find our recipe due to a house fire.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Alisa Manceaux November 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I have been looking for this for years. My grandmother made this and passed away when I was in high school so I never got the recipe. I can’t wait too try out.

  5. Cathy Creel November 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Looking over this recipe, I don’t think I ever saw bouillie made without eggs.

    • dee January 10, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      I agree. My grand mother’s recipie had about 3-5 eggs.

    • Denise Boudreaux January 14, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Thank you ladies! I have NEVER heard of a tarte a la bouille without egg!! From Larose (Grandma Flo) to Thibodaux (Aunt Menola) and Labadieville (Grandma Blanchard), they all used eggs in their custard. Everyone else I knew used eggs in their custard, because the question was, just HOW MANY eggs do you use, more egg and less flour/cornstarch or less egg and more flour/cornstarch. Even in baking class at Nicholls, we did custard and it used EGGS!! I remember the chef telling me I should temp my custard so I didn’t scramble my eggs, if my temp got over 180 it would curdle. I laughed inside and told chef that I had been making custard since I was 13 and before then I was at my grandmother’s side as she made it. I knew just by the feel of the spoon when it was done. Soon as I felt it was right I inserted my thermometer and it read 178 degrees!! Perfect!! This must be how Rousses does their supposed pie, it is the most revolting excuse for a tarte a la bouille I have ever tasted! Are you sure you didn’t leave out the egg in the recipe? Even a creme anglaise, a thinner version of this, has egg.

      • Cathy Creel October 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

        I am from Galliano, Lafourche Parish. My grandfather and his brother owned bakeries in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, and their father before them in Labadieville, Louisiana. We all used eggs in our bouillie.

        • jerome November 7, 2017 at 6:46 am - Reply

          hi Cathy What were the Names of the Bakeries-was it DUFRENEs OR Duets…I am looking for the CUSTARD/MILK PIE recipe NOT the Tarte au la Bouillie–the custard pie had a brown top on the creamy custard, best served cold…let me know IF you can help

          • Suzie Quebedeaux January 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm

            Jerome, this comes from my Nanny who lives in Leeville. “The bakery named Dufrene’s is closed. The one called Duet’s is in Galliano now, about 2 blocks past the Catholic Church, on the right on La. 1. ” I hope this helps you.

      • Debbie Courville May 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

        Can I get your recipe for vanilla pudding pie. My husband calls it Booyee. Spelling No one got the recipe and he swears it was the best . His mom recalls that she almost would let the sugar burn if that makes sense. I am just trying to make his all time favorite dessert !! I would so appreciate it!

        • Bk November 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

          This is pronounced booyee

    • Jenny MacTavish October 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Look at the recipe again. It calls for one large egg and one large egg yolk.

      • Denise Boudreaux May 14, 2016 at 12:21 am - Reply

        You may want to go back and re-read the recipe, then understand the reasoning for having two separate sections of ingredients and directions. The eggs are used in the crust; no eggs are used in this recipe for the custard.

        If this were a recipe for the industry (professional bakers) more than likely only the ingredients would be listed for the custard and for the crust it would say to cream the sugar and fat, that’s it. A real baker or cook knows when it’s a custard what the proper procedure is and if it is a crust what the procedure is. Recipes are just for ingredients and amounts to ensure product consistency.

      • Deborah Bonvillian May 14, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

        Jenny, that’s in the Sweet Dough, not the Bouillie

      • Francis Exposito May 15, 2016 at 10:30 am - Reply

        This is in the receipt for the Sweet Dough..

  6. wanda toups December 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    I make these pies every Christmas. Learned from my grandmother, who was cajun from Cutoff, LA

  7. Lynda Cervenka February 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    there is a difference between an EGG CUSTARD PIE and the old Tarte au la Bouillie which was also called a MILK PIE by some old folks. I’m not saying some didn’t add eggs, that would have been the chose of the cook, BUT the old milk pie was made like this recipe. Thanks for the old saying YOU never get to old to learn.

  8. Nellie Robert April 13, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

    This wasn’t the recipe she used for the Bouillie (custard), but seeing it brought back such great memories.
    I actually found her original recipe in a New Iberia, La. cookbook. The Bouillie (custard) part she would make (without the pie dough) for special treats, especially in cold weather. The dough made delicious cookies. As for the Tat’ au la Bouillie (the pie), she would make 10 at a time and freeze them, so that when family from out of town would come in, she just had to take one out for them to enjoy.

    • Editor April 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Ms. Alzina had a few different recipes for her Bouillie, but this is the recipe she gave to us. We’d love to get our hands on that book!

  9. Annie Cheviron April 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    When I was 4 or 5, we had a non english, Cajun renter who liked making these for me. Only, they were Pink, and tasted like strawberries. I didn’t have enough Cajun french to find out how she did them, but my Mama said she used flavoring and color. Actually, Mama was a bit joalous I think! Anyone ever ate any like this? I can taste it in my mind still, and I am 76.

  10. Michael Gisclair April 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    So, it’s actually “tarte à la bouillie,” not “tarte au la bouillie.” My grandma used to make it every year too! Ma grand-mère a fait ça chaque année aussi!

  11. Barbara Danos April 23, 2015 at 10:49 am - Reply

    according to the recipe in her recipe book Cajun Joy this recipe omitted 1egg and 1 stick of butter, also you can omit the half and half ,for 1 (13oz) can evaporated milk and 1can water.

  12. Barbara Danos April 23, 2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Editor. I have her Cajun’s Joy. Cookin’n Eatin’

  13. betty wilson September 20, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    St.Joseph’s Catholic Church in French Settlement sells the milk pies for two weekends every October. They sell hundreds of these and people come from all over to buy them.They have been doing this for many years and people look forward to it.

    • jerome November 7, 2017 at 6:34 am - Reply

      where is the St Joseph Church ? Thib,. Golden Meadow,New Iberia? do you call the Rectory to order? Let readers know please Also Does anyone remember the Milk/Custard Pie from DUFRENEs Bakery in Golden Meadow, i would love the recipe or something very close to the Taste it had a brownish gold top,best flavor when cold

      • Donna Castleberry November 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

        St. Joseph Church in French Settlement, Livingston Parish, LA. The youth group has a milk pie fundraiser once every year..

  14. Phil guillot September 25, 2015 at 10:21 am - Reply

    My gg grate grandmother made these I started to cry when I seen this I’m going to make it today. I live in Michigan now so I miss my louisiana local cooking I have to make everything my self so send me some things to cook need recipes I have cook everything in my catholic womens cook book lol philguilliot@gmail.com thanks everyone hope to reconnect with good food through new friends I hope to make here

    • Melissa January 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      I love this site

  15. sonja November 1, 2015 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    This was my first pie I’ve ever made from scratch. Definitely worth the effort. Wish I would have made more than one because it’s already almost gone!

  16. Stephanie December 31, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    I’m not from Louisiana but I must say……I’m going to make this torrow! I’ve also enjoyed each and every one of your posts! Happy New Year!

  17. Kim May 14, 2016 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    My late Aunt Inez made these all the time. To say I loved them is an understatement!!!! So glad to have this recipe. Going to try this very soon. Thinking about making them brings a smile to my face.

  18. Delia June 7, 2016 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Raised in the country of south Louisiana, my granny and mom made these plenty often. We sometimes had the “bouille” served warm for breakfast, Momma called it porridge. She made this without eggs, maybe she used the eggs for other recipes when they were scarce. She made custard sometimes too and for that she used eggs. I made this particular recipe and it tastes exactly like the “bouille” that I grew up on! Yummy!!!

  19. Nadine Frederic LeBlanc October 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I’m from St. Amant, Louisiana. My Maw Maw made these pies every year, NO eggs. She said with eggs was called a custard pie. She called them PAP pies. Would anyone happen to know where that would have come from? She has passed away and we are just trying to figure it out.

  20. Amanda March 8, 2017 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    My husband’s grandmother made this “milk pie” . It tastes just like hers did and I remember she was adamant that eggs did not go in the milk! We live in SW Louisiana, and sometimes a recipe by the same name can vary greatly from one parish to the next. But I do know in our neck of the woods that eggs are only in the sweet dough. This recipe is delicious!

  21. David B. May 11, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    In from Donaldsonville, my dads people were from down the canal in Napoleonville and also from the back of Labadieville. My wife’s dads family is from St. James and Vacherie. My mother in law would make the pies from time to time. They were to die for . My mom, when it was cold would make a pot of a dish called “floating island “. It was more like the milk pie , but a lot of milk, eggs yolks and vanalia . The egg whites were wihipped up to a fluffy peaks, then when the custard milk was finished, she would add the egg whites to it with a spoon and slowly fold them in . A very good warm dish to help with our colds and running nose. I’m smiling just thinking about this dish when I was younger about 55 years ago

    • Bebe February 4, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Awesome my family is from Vacherie too and I remember the custard pies from Gravious grocery store

  22. Pamela Cormier September 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Wanda Toups ,please send me your resipe.

  23. Kathy Barras October 10, 2017 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know about a cake my grandma used to make. It was called a hiccup cake and it used alot a lot of eggs. I think she would put the yolks into the cake batter and then use the egg whites for the frosting that she would sweeten with sugar. If anyone has a recipe for this cake we would be most appreciate

  24. FLU November 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    I made the recipe as-is but added two egg yolks and it turned out great.

  25. Kathy Barras January 1, 2018 at 7:36 am - Reply

    My grandma was from golden meadow and she use to make a cake that used about a dozen eggs. We use to call it the hiccup cake. My sister use to have the recipe but when her house flooded she lost the recipe, if anyone knows a recipe for a cake that uses a lot of eggs please send it to me

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