So when I decide I want to learn how to cook something it becomes a little bit of an obsession. My hubby told me last Monday that he remembers his Grandma making Sugar Pie. No one has the recipe. It was thin, white-ish, semi-translucent, and sweet. That’s all I had to go on to re-create his youth. Challenge Accepted.

So of course, I used my favorite internet search tool and searched “sugar pie”.  Sugar cream pie, hoosier sugar pie, sugar pie, Quebec sugar pie, brown sugar pie, amish sugar pie. oy!

First I tried this Amish Sugar Cream Pie. It was yummy! Creamy, pale, pretty easy to make (let’s say on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being “for pros only” hard, this was a 4 if you use store bought pie crust, and only that hard because it requires cooking on the stovetop. I don’t use store bought crust, and was pleased with this pie. Mine was lighter color than the picture on the site, but otherwise looked just like that. It was almost like custard – odd without the eggs – but delightful. Hubby said “0h – good but not it”. So onto another recipe.

Recipe #2 for Sugar Cream Pie. This, like the Amish recipe, requires cooking on the stovetop first. But it doesn’t require baking. You drizzle butter over the filling, and then put it under the broiler. This was bizarre to me. It thickened, in a puddingy way, not a custardy way. It tasted like the first one, sort of, but not smooth. It wasn’t pleasant. The butter drizzled on top (and I didn’t use all 2 Tablespoons because it was getting puddled) was just slimy. I let hubby take one bite. Thankfully he declared that this wasn’t “it” so I threw this whole pie (less two bites) in the trash.

Then I tried the brown sugar pie found here, called Quebec Brown Sugar Pie and found it was also super easy to make. It’s very few ingredients, and doesn’t even use a mixer. It’s probably a 2 on our new 1-10 scale. Maybe a 1. If this isn’t a 1, I don’t know what would be. This pie tasted like eating liquified brown sugar. I ate a few bites and couldn’t eat more. But I waited for hubby to taste it. He likes sweets, and there is no other word to describe this pie. He ate it, but this wasn’t the one either.

Three pies. Three strikes. In my kitchen that’s not “out”, it’s just more determination. I want my hubby to have the pie his Grandma made. So I started asking friends. Maybe my friend who has an Amish background – surely her family has a cookbook with this in it somewhere. And finally I posted the need on Facebook. Of course that’s the answer! Social Networking at its finest! A long lost friend sent me her mom’s recipe. She hadn’t had it since she was little, but she remembered loving it. Thanks Jamie, you’re a life saver.

So here it is. My last pie. This is “it”. It has the seal of hubby-approval. He even took the leftovers to his extended family, and his mom, aunt and uncle all say it’s just like their mom’s. SCORE!

What’s not to love about this recipe? It’s three ingredients, no pre-cooking. Put them together, pour them into a shell, bake them 45 minutes, let cool, eat. I still like the custardy one. This one is easy to make (a 2), solidifies well, and looks pretty. The consistency is a little bit like a pecan pie, but a little creamier and obviously without the nuts. It’s thin, so it won’t fill a traditional shell. Mine only looks full because it’s in a one-inch tart pan. Jamie suggested doubling it, which would then fill the pie pan, but hubby remembers it thin, so thin is how I made it. Also, doubling it might bubble over the pie plate and make a mess! It bubbles up while baking and then falls in. These pictures are the same pie, one hour apart. See the cave-in?


Mom’s Sugar Pie

1 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Flour
3/4 C. Milk
1 8″ pie crust

Mix sugar, flour, milk, dots of butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 for 35-50 minutes.  Let cool completely to set up.

A few notes:
– The first time I made this, the sides of the crust folded in onto the filling and, though tasty, made a mess. Freezing my unbaked crust in the pan fixed that.
– the recipe did not have an amount for the butter. I used about a tablespoon and that was plenty.
– use cinnamon and nutmeg to your liking. There were also not amounts for those.
– the recipe says 35 minutes. My pie wasn’t done. I know because the rest of the pie started to get thicker but in the middle it was really watery. ALL of the pies weren’t set up until they cooled, so I tried to let this cool. That didn’t work, that really watery part was still watery. So, I re-baked it. That’s why I’m saying bake it for 35-50 minutes.
– being done does not mean being fully set up. But it should be thickening. If it’s very watery, it’s not done yet. If it’s beginning to thicken, it’s done.
– I put a baking sheet under the pie. This pie bubbles up and then sinks. When baking it will probably look level with the top of the pie plate, and then it will fall.

Sugar Pie(S)
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