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Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Updated October 09, 2017
Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie
Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie
This image courtesy of Debbie Carlos

Editor's Note: When it's a hot summer's day, there is nothing quite like eating a slice of cream pie right out of the refrigerator for dessert! If you've only ever made fruit pies, then you'll want to broaden your culinary horizons with this recipe for Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie. This pie uses humble ingredients, but the result is a dessert that's decadent enough — and definitely rich enough — to serve at your next get-together with family and friends. You'll love having this recipe up your sleeve the next time you want to bake something new for dessert.

Sugar cream pie is an iconic Indiana dessert, thus the name! Native Hoosiers are sure to be familiar with this pie and its rich, custard-like texture. This version of sugar cream pie is bursting with caramel flavor, which makes it perfect for the fall!


The recipe for sugar cream pie traveled across the prairie in covered wagons with the earliest settlers of the Indiana Territories. According to pie lore, it was a great favorite of pioneering farm wives, who, to avoid washing utensils or a bowl, would throw the few staple ingredients in an unbaked pie shell and mix with their fingers before rushing back to their work in the fields. At Hoosier Mama, we pre-bake the pie shell and use utensils, but the basic recipe—cream and sugar thickened with a little flour—remains unchanged. It is a homely pie by any standard and it languished in the pie case until we started handing out samples. Now it's a customer favorite.

The flavor is wonderful—somewhere between crème brûlée and melted caramel ice cream, depending on the exact recipe. Recipes are closely guarded and passed down from generation to generation, with each family claiming their recipe is best. Our recipe, somewhat controversially, calls for both white and brown sugar. Hoosier Mama Pie makers like to throw leftover Sugar Creams in the freezer and snack on the frozen slices.

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseDessert

Taste and TextureButtery, Creamy, Rich, Sweet

Type of DishDessert, Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 single-crust, blind-baked All-Butter Pie Dough shell 
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) all-purpose flour 
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cups (464 g/474 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla paste 
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  2. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet. Set aside.

  3. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix with a whisk or your hands to break up any clumps and to combine ingredients.

  4. Gently stir in the heavy cream with a wooden spoon or spatula. Do not overmix. Whipping the cream will prevent the pie from setting.

  5. Stir in the vanilla paste.

  6. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell and bake for 20 minutes.

  7. Rotate 180 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes, until large bubbles cover the surface. The pie will not appear to be set when it comes out of the oven.

  8. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to overnight, before slicing. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. The baked pie can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

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As a lifelong Hoosier, I consider myself a bit of a sugar cream pie expert. While I've never had sugar cream pie made with brown sugar before, this one was still delicious and reminiscent of what I grew up with. Warning: this pie is super rich and probably not great for your teeth, but it's so worth it.

This is nothing like sugar cream pie either of my grandmothers made and they passed along to me

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