How to make great custard pies

I’m often asked about the perfect mixture for custard pies…
So, here is the traditional method. It achieves brilliant results, but it does take a bit of work. The number one benefit is that it looks funnier, because the foam adheres so well to the face. The second benefit is that it won’t run to mush in a matter of minutes – it’s quite durable and even after a few hours can be re-whisked to a good consistency.
NB. A note of caution. A custard pie is usually to the face.  You obviously need to be careful and make sure (as you would with any mixture) that your actors are not allergic to it.

So here goes:

  • You need one, old fashioned, Palmolive shaving stick.
  • Grate the stick with a cheese grater into a bucket.
  • Add a half pint of boiling water.
  • Mix into a tough paste. (Use an electric drill with a plasterer’s whisk fitment.)
  • Slowly add water and continue whisking (15 mins or so…)

Stop when you achieve the right consistency – and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

Just a couple of safety points. Obviously, if you’re using plates, always use paper plates and remember that it’s very easy to use more force on stage than you would in real life, so don’t have the flat of your hand immediately behind the plate, use your fingertips so that the recipient’s nose is safe!

Oh, and have some cotton buds to hand – if the foam gets into your actor’s ears it will stay there until gently removed.
A good custard pie routine is always a crowd pleaser. All my scripts have a degree of physical, slapstick comedy, but the ones with cooking routines and custard pies are – Ali Baba and Sleeping Beauty. Both versions of Cinderella and Mother Goose also involve a good degree of gloop.

Have fun….!

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