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Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Creamy white and sugary-sweet, this pie is known in my family as Grandma King's Pie.

Crimping A Pie Crust

Photo: bkajino (Flickr)

Some say that to have a true sugar cream pie you have to make your own crust using lard.

Indiana Tradition

There are many things that Indiana is known for: basketball, corn, tenderloin sandwiches and the Indianapolis 500. I am not sure many of you know that another is the Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie. Go to any potluck or church pitch-in and you are bound to see this pie gracing the dessert table.

Creamy white and sugary-sweet, this pie is known in my family as Grandma King’s Pie. Every year for Christmas my Grandmother would bring this pie to our family gathering. I was never very interested in trying it as a child. It was just so blank looking. Where was the pretty lattice top, where were the apples, the chocolate? I turned my nose up at this Indiana classic. Admittedly, though, I became a bit intrigued as I got older.

Secret Family Recipe

When I met my husband 17 years ago he mentioned to my Grandmother how much he liked sugar cream pie, and lo and behold, next time we see her she is toting a freshly baked pie.

I decided to finally break down and ask her for the recipe of her sainted pie. I waited for her to open some golden recipe box as light shined down from the sky and angels sang. She patted my hand sympathetically and said “Heather, if you want the recipe to my sugar cream pie just look on the back of any Wick’s frozen pie crust.” Talk about embarrassing.

Funny thing is that Wick’s hasn’t printed the recipe on their pie crust wrapping in many years. I called Wick’s in May to see if my grandmother’s recipe was even close and the response I got was a quick “Sure, try it and see!”

So I did, and my family of course loved it. I wanted to surprise her with it, so when we had a birthday celebration for my son in May, I made sure to have one of these on hand for her to try. It was worth it to see the look on her face. She asked me if I was now a sugar cream pie convert after all of these years of turning my nose up at the dessert. She didn’t need to ask, really. She knew.

Easy Treat

This pie is incredibly easy to make. Some say that to have a true sugar cream pie you have to make your own crust using lard. I can’t imagine doing that, but I must say it is better when made in a Wick’s pie shell that you can find at any grocery store. You can also find this frozen pie as well, but it would be a shame to be from Indiana and not try this at least once. Who knows, maybe it will become a new family favorite like it is with mine.

Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Whole nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 open pie crust

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Add all ingredients, except for nutmeg, butter and egg, in a mixing bowl and combine using a whisk. Pour into pie crust.
  3. Drop small pieces of butter on the top of the batter and then grate fresh nutmeg evenly over the top of the pie. (I prefer to grate fresh, whole nutmeg but use what you have.)
  4. With a pastry brush, brush the crimped edge of the crust with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Heather Tallman

Heather Tallman is a Bloomington native, freelance writer and mother to 2 busy boys. She is also a food writer for her local newspaper as well as the creator of Basilmomma, a cooking blog. She writes about her culinary hits and misses and all of the life that goes along with it. Her goal is to create fast, fresh and family-friendly meals that teach her children and others that creating meals from farm to table is not only attainable but easier than you think.

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