Tarte au la Bouillie

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. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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

          • 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.

          • 10 eggs 3 cans condensed milk mixed thoroughly pour into 2 deep dish pie shells and bake at 350 until top is brown

      • 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!

      • I’m from Labadieville and my Grandma used eggs also. Her Pies were the best. Some times she would add Coconut. Yum!!!!

      • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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

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

        • I buy several pies every time. They are Delicious! My maw Laura, (Laura Lambert) used to make them. They were the best. I just wish they would sell them more than once a year.
          Is this recipe like the one the catholic church uses? I would love to try to make them myself so I can eat them year round lol. Do you have a local recipe from French Settlement?

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

    • I don’t have the recipe either. I don’t remember what it was called. I don’t th8nk we called it hiccup cake though. If I find it I’ll share with you.

  19. My aunt used to make this when I was young. She would use fresh milk from an old man named Nasta primeaux. I think the ones my aunt made with the fresh milk was better than Amy other I have ever had.

  20. My Grandmother from Galliano, LA used to make these Tartes. She made one with Coconut instead of Custard. If anyone has this recipe, please send it to me at ronniecheramie@att.net. I would love to make these for my Dad. If anyone would like to try one, Frank’s Supermarket in Des Allemands, LA ,makes a pretty good tarte la bouillie, but only between October and December.

  21. I used to win blue ribbons at the State Fair on my cake. It was a Sponge Cake and calls for 12 egg yolks. I would make 5 or 6 cakes and pick the most perfect one to enter. We had a lot of egg whites to use! Meringues are good and the whites will freeze. Just put them into ice cube trays and then in a Zip Lock. I’m in my 80s now and don’t make huge cakes anymore.

  22. My mawmaw was born and raised in French Settlement, LA. I have her “French Settlement Milk Pie” recipe and it calls for eggs in both crust and filling. She is no longer with us and this is a treasured recipe among all my family. The pies made every year by St Joseph’s Catholic Church in French Settlement, LA is the same as her recipe.


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