How to Temper Eggs to Make Cream Pie

Many cream pie recipes call for tempered eggs -- we help you master this simple technique. The result is super-smooth custards, pie fillings, and puddings.

I'm Sue with the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. Have you ever run across a recipe that calls for tempering eggs, like say for cream pie or pudding? Tempering is a fundamental technique that's key to blending temperature sensitive ingredients like eggs or egg yolks and hot mixtures. Let me show you our secrets to success. Here, I'm making a cream pie filling by heating some sugar, cornstarch and Half and Half until they're thick and bubbly. Now, here's how to temper the eggs. Whisk some of the hot milk into the yolks, then add the yolks back into the hot milk. If you added the yolks directly to the hot milk, they would scramble but this tempering step gently raises their temperature making them must likely to curl off. Now, bring the mixture to a simmer. This final simmer is important. It ensures that the yolks have been cooked long enough so that the filling sets. And if during cooking your filling does happen to scramble, just pour it through fine mesh strainer before pouring into your pie shell. One last thing, for the most intense flavor, always add flavorings like vanilla extract at the end. Since most extracts ***CUT DICTATION***