Jenell Parsons' Earl Grey cream pie

London Fog, but make it pie

Image for Jenell Parsons' Earl Grey cream pie

If you have started to enjoy afternoon tea in an attempt to recreate the royal sensation that is the wildly popular show The Crown, we can assure you, you are not alone. Now, have you tried making pie using tea?

Jenell Parsons' new cookbook, You Wanna Piece of Me? features a plethora of savoury and sweet pie recipes that will hit the spot any time of the year. The baker extraordinaire's recipe for Earl Grey cream pie is something we could only describe as a forkable version of a London Fog–a tea latte comprised of steamed milk, Earl Grey tea and vanilla which was actually invented in Vancouver.

The more you know!

Image for Jenell Parsons' earl grey cream pie

"I had a little tea party one afternoon...and served this creamy, elegant pie topped with chantilly cream and dried lavender. We use high-quality tea leaves and infuse the milk overnight to extract the lovely bergamot flavor," says Parsons in the introduction to this delicious recipe.

Double butter crust

1 cup water, ice cold
1 tbsp vinegar, cold
1 cup butter, cold
4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
egg wash

Start by mixing the water and vinegar together in a bowl or jug and putting it into the freezer so it’s icy cold when you need it. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and put them in the freezer as well to keep as cold as possible while you measure the other ingredients.

Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix to fully incorporate.

Add the cold butter to the flour mixture, and use your fingers to massage the butter into the flour, breaking it apart and coating it in flour. Continue massaging and rolling the butter between your fingers until you have a coarse mixture with pea- to almond-sized pieces of butter throughout.

Add 3 tablespoons of the cold vinegar-water mixture. Slowly mix in the water with your hands, gently squeezing the butter and flour to help it come together.

Continue adding the vinegar-water mixture just 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing it in gently with your hands. The goal is to add just enough water to get the dough to come together into a shaggy mixture —and once it gets to that point, hands off!

Bring your dough together to form a ball, divide it in half, and wrap each piece snugly with plastic wrap. At this point the dough is quite pliable, so press it down until it forms disks about 1 inch thick. This will save both time and effort when you start rolling the dough, as it’s more difficult to roll once chilled.

Place the disks in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to relax the gluten in the dough, which gives you a much more tender pastry. At this point you can also freeze the dough.

Rolling the dough

When you are ready to start rolling, remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it (you need 1 disk for a single-crust pie and 2 disks for a double-crust pie). If the dough is frozen, fully thaw it first (by moving it to the fridge overnight, or sitting it out on the counter for a couple of hours).

Sprinkle your work surface and dough with flour, and use a rolling pin to start rolling out 1 of the disks. Rotate the dough 90 degrees after every few passes to work toward creating a circular shape. If the circumference of the disk is not getting larger as you roll, there’s a good chance the dough is stuck to the surface below. Carefully lift the dough and add more flour to the surface. I also often flour the top of the dough and flip it over, then continue to roll. Keep rolling out the dough until it is about ⅛ inch thick.

Next, take your pie plate and turn it upside down in the center of the rolled dough. Use the plate as a template to cut the dough to size. Depending on the depth of the pie plate, cut out a circle of dough 1½ to 2 inches larger than the rim of the pie plate (the deeper the pie plate, the larger the circle will need to be). It is best to go larger, as you can always trim; you never want to have to stretch the dough to make it fit, as it shrinks back as it bakes.

Remove the pie plate and sprinkle a little flour over the surface of the dough. Then gently lift and transfer the dough to the pie plate with the floured side facing down. This, along with all the butter in the dough, will help keep the pie from sticking to the pie plate, so no need to worry about greasing or flouring your pie plate. Gently press the dough into the plate.

Dock the bottom of the dough with a fork to allow steam to escape when baking.

Egg wash

1 egg
Splash of milk or water (optional)
Pinch salt (optional)

When ready to wash the pie, whisk the egg in a bowl until smooth and light in color. The more you whisk, the easier it is to brush on. Use a pastry brush to wash the pie.

Vegan pie crust

1 cup water, ice cold
2 tbsps vinegar
1 1/3 cup vegan butter, cold
3/4 cup vegan shortening, cold
5 cups flour
2 tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tbsp salt

Mix the water and vinegar together in a bowl or jug and put it into the freezer so it’s icy cold when you need it.

Cut the vegan butter into 1-inch cubes, and chill in the freezer. As the vegan shortening is too soft to cut, use a tablespoon to scoop pieces about 1 inch across. Place in the freezer too to keep as cold as possible.

Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix to fully incorporate.

Add the cold vegan butter and vegan shortening to the flour mixture, and gently use your fingers to massage them into the flour, breaking the pieces apart and coating them in flour. Continue massaging and rolling the butter between your fingers until you have a coarse mixture with pea- to almond-sized pieces of butter and shortening throughout. Do not overmix.

Follow same chilling and rolling instructions as standard pie crust above.

Earl Grey cream filling

3 cups milk
3 bags good quality earl grey tea
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
5 egg yolks, whisked
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 batch whipped cream
2 tsp dried lavender

Prepare a single 9-inch Double Butter Crust and partially blind bake. Chill in the pie plate until you’re ready to assemble your pie. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To get that beautiful Earl Grey flavor, in a medium saucepan warm the milk, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Transfer to an airtight container and once the milk has cooled, put the lid on and steep for 4 to 12 hours in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the tea bags and transfer the milk to a large saucepan. Add the sugar and flour and whisk until smooth. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.

When hot and starting to get thick (about 5 minutes), carefully pour about ½ cup of the mixture into a large bowl containing the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Tempering gently brings the eggs to a higher temperature without cooking them and making them lumpy. If you do get some lumps, use a fine-mesh sieve to remove them.

Return the tempered eggs and Earl Grey mixture to the pot and whisk continuously until the mixture has thickened (2-3 more minutes). Make sure to whisk all over to keep any spots from sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot.

Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, salt, and vanilla. Continue to stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Add the Earl Grey mixture to the pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the filling has set. Cool the pie in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight before decorating.

Using a piping bag and star tip, top the pie with whipped cream. Roll the dried lavender buds between your fingertips to intensify the lavender flavor and sprinkle them over the pie.

Whipped cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsps icing sugar
1 packet whipped cream stabilizer, (optional)
1 tsp vanilla, (optional)

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, icing sugar, whipped cream stabilizer, and vanilla over medium speed until stiff peaks form. You can use either a spoon or a piping bag to top your pie with whipped cream.

Note: The whipped cream stabilizer is optional, but unless you plan to make and finish the pie the

same day, it will help keep the whipped cream from falling flat. It can usually be found in little packages in the baking aisle at your grocery store. The vanilla is also optional, but if you have it, use it because it really elevates the whipped cream.

1 9" pie
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1 hour