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Ruth stood on the step of the church, balancing a plate of thick maple-cured ham sandwiches on Sarah’s bread, still steaming from the boulangerie, homemade potato salad with eggs and mayo, and a huge slice of sugar pie.

The Cruelest Month

Sugar Pie 1

Makes 8 servings


One 9-inch (24-cm) unbaked pie shell, homemade or store-bought

  • ¾ cup (85 g) dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream


  • Prebake the pie shell: Whether using homemade or store-bought, be sure the rolled out shell is chilled, not frozen. With the rack in the center position, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Poke the bottom of the shell with the tines of a fork at least 20 times. Bake the shell until the edges are light golden brown and the bottom is very lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Many recipes suggest lining the shell with foil and filling it with beans or pie weights. This is unnecessary if you check the pie shell halfway through baking and use the same fork to poke down any bubbles that have formed during baking. Remove the shell and cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature from 375°F (191°C) to 350°F (177°C).
  • Make the filling: Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat just until the edges are bubbling. Pour the cream into a bowl, add the sugar, and whisk until smooth. Add the maple syrup, flour, and eggs and whisk until smooth.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the prebaked shell and bake at 350°F (177°C) oven just until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pie pan, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack completely before serving. The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.

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Double crust not necessary. In Belgium this is tart au sucre, with brown sugar, and obviously not maple syrup. Un vrai délice!!!

In Vermont, we borrow Quebec’s tarte au sucre. It’s a gem; a little slice is a lot.
I’ve never seen it with a double crust like in the photo, though.

I’ve had sugar pie before. This is a great recipe. Yes, it’s super sweet, but you only need a small slice. And believe me, you *need* a small slice.

This sounds too sweet, but so many of the things they served in the cafe/bistro made me want to hop on a plane and go there before lunch!

Because food plays such an important part of the Three Pines books, this series is especially interesting. This recipe looks like a keeper! I have loved reading about all the food that the characters prepare/eat/think about. Thank you for sharing these recipes. I’m anxious for the next recipe and the next Gamache book.

When my daughter and I took the Bury Your Dead Walking Tour in Old Québec last summer, we were served Maple Sugar Pie during our visit to Le Petit Coin Latin.
I rarely eat sweets, but I have to say that this pie was to die for. 🙂

Ooops! No “heavy” cream listed as an ingredient – how much? And how “heavy” please? Cereal cream (10%), coffee cream (18%) or whipping cream (32%)? Thank you.

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