Sugar Cream Pie

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I never said that I was a great baker.  I just want you to keep that in mind.  Sometimes things get a little ugly.

Last week I took a trip with a couple friends of mine, and before we left it was suggested that we have a friendly bake off.  Bake-a-thon?  My friends rented a cabin for a few days, and we baked a couple pies.  I’ve made a few before, and they usually turn out fine, but I know that I have a lot of room for improvement.  I have issues with crusts shrinking after they’re baked.

It never occurred to me that I ever needed pie weights until my friend pointed out that they help with crust shrinkage and prevent the sides from slumping.  I also decided that with this particular pie, that I shouldn’t have baked the crust first.

Another thing that I didn’t realize I did, was fold excess crust in instead of out.  If I had folded the crust over towards me, it would have made a little ledge on the rim of the pan, holding up the sides.  

Learn from my mistakes, children.

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Sad, right?  I was going for a rustic look to go with the cabin, but…

I’d also like to point out how crappy the lighting in this kitchen was.  I’m not trying to make excuses, but I just wish I could have seen the wallpaper better.

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The first time I ever had this pie was at an aunts house.  It was delicious.  There’s no other way to describe it other than it tasted like cream and sugar.  Lo and behold, that’s basically what it’s made of.  Lots of cream and a little sugar.  Sadly, this isn’t her recipe.  Just the closest thing I could come up with, plus a little extra.  

Sugar Cream Pie

2 cups cream (half & half)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon cold butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon + 3 Tablespoons sugar

For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chilled shortening
1/2 cup ice water

To prepare the crust, blend flour and salt together in a medium bowl.  With a pastry cutter, blend in chilled shortening until combined and flour begins to clump.  With a spoon or hands, add the water a little at a time and blend until dough forms a ball.  

On a lightly flour surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thick and transfer to a pie dish.  Trim and crimp edges and set aside.

In another bowl, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Whisk until sugar has dissolved.  Cut the cold butter into small cubes and dot the bottom of the pie crust.  Slowly pour cream and sugar mixture into raw pie crust.

In a small dish, mix cinnamon and 3 Tablespoons of sugar.  Sprinkle over the top of the pie filling, creating a top layer.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until the center of the pie becomes firm.  

Carefully, remove pie from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.  Move pie to the fridge and let it chill for 1-2 hours to set.  Serve cold or at room temp.

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Needless to say, I lost this one, but it still tasted good!  

Side note: Here’s a couple pictures I took at the Dungeness Spit.

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7 thoughts on “Sugar Cream Pie

  1. What makes the pie gel and does the crust become flaky or remain doughy? Seems like a challenging recipe to me, but sounds good. Would it cook up into a good custard sans crust, do you think? I could really go for that, but it is the eggs that make a custard, isn’t it? You are confusing your old grandmother.

  2. Which of your aunts had the original recipe and what ever makes the pie gel. Does the crust remain doughy with all that liquid? It seems like a very challenging recipe to me, Jerry. Would it cook up as a custard without the crust? Now I could really go for that.

  3. I would not say that you lost the bake-off. We were roughing it and mine didn’t turn out how it should have either. The important part is that even after a 4 hour drive and accidental smashing of pie on the special blue plate, followed by two days in the refrigerator, it still tasted great, better even than the oven-fresh version, AND, it was a most excellent post-moving snack. Cheers to cabins and pies and friendly happiness. Also, never forget, it’s different in Canada.

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