• Yield: Serves 8

  • Time: 45 minutes (including refrigerating dough) prep, 25 minutes cooking, 1 hour 10 minutes (not including chilling pie overnight) total

This recipe from Michael Harlan Turkell's book, Acid Trip, comes from Chris Shepherd, owner/executive chef at Underbelly in Houston, Texas.


For the crust:

  • 11 tablespoons (155 g) butter

  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon (260 g) vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar

  • 5 tablespoons (38 g) cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) vinegar of your choice, use a neutral-toned one, so it doesn’t color the custard

  • 2 cups (480 ml) water

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or use extract if needed

Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell


In a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and briefly mix just to combine; do not overmix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 13-inch (33- cm) tart pan with cooking spray. Remove the dough and roll it 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick on a floured surface. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan, add weights of your choosing (e.g., pie weights or beans in aluminum foil), and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Remove the weights and finish baking until the bottom of the crust is completely cooked, about 10 minutes more.

Put the eggs and sugar in a large saucepan and whisk together. Add the cornstarch and salt and whisk until smooth. Mix in the lemon juice, vinegar, and water, and place over medium heat, whisking constantly so it does not burn, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 full minute, then remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Pour into the baked tart shell and place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pie. Chill overnight before serving.

From Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell, published by ABRAMS c 2017.