Sugar Pie

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-pieMakes 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

1. 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).

2. 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.

3. 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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Discussion on “Sugar Pie

  1. Judy Schatz says:

    Oh my, how decadent! I’m almost afraid to make it!

  2. Linda says:

    Just as with pecan pie, you can cut that cloying sweetness by topping it with whipped or ice cream.
    Boy it sucks to be a diabetic sometimes.
    Is shoo fly pie anything like this? I’ve heard there are two versions, one being a little moister than the other.

  3. Anne Slater says:

    An antidote to the excessive sweetness may be a teaspoon (or half-teaspoon) of vinegar in the filling, Several Chess pie recipes (US, southern, molasses pies suggest this.

    Moi– extra maple syrup, less brown sugar.

  4. Kaye says:

    There goes the waist line

  5. Julie says:

    Mmmmmmmmmm – sugar pie! How I love it. Real maple sugar is one thing I miss from my days in Canada. I had Amish sugar pie a few years ago, in Lancaster County, but I’m afraid it wasn’t the same at all, and didn’t have that wonderful taste and consistency. Besides the sugar pie, I think I need some potato salad now, too!

  6. Mimi says:

    Oh my,this pie sounds yummy!Thank you for the recipe.
    My husband and I own all the Gamache books,treasure and reread them often.Both the pie and the books are like a little slice of Heaven.

  7. Ginni Alvey says:

    It sounds wonderful! Does it taste similar to butter tarts? I used to love those when I was a kid.
    Can’t wait to try it!

  8. Anita Cartier says:

    I recently came across my grandmother’s recipe for sugar pie. Memere was from Canada and her recipe is slightly different. I’ll try Tree Pines’ and compare.

  9. Karin says:

    My experience of all the luscious food described in reading Louise’s books is feeling closer to the moment with her characters. I hadn’t realized that until looking at this blog. It truly impacts my imagination, my “smell memories” are turned on, and I am sitting in one of the odd antique chairs in the bistro being a part of the hum and bustle, and the intrigues! I know that is what leaves me warm and cozy reading her stories. Three Pines is my new fantasy world.

  10. joan hersh says:

    i think this should be stored in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. you’re making a custard of cream/eggs, after all. i think this requires refrigeration to make leftovers safe.

  11. Cheryl Waugh says:

    This dessert seems to be in the same family as our English Treacle Tart – not that it contains treacle at all but what we know as Golden Syrup! There are as many recipes for this as there are cooks who make it, but my favourite was a pie made with different types of pastry on top and bottom. Sadly lost now, perhaps a good thing for my expanding waistline!

  12. joanne Buckley says:

    I just made this sugar pie but wondered if the brown sugar is supposed to be “packed”? As I’m just taking it out of the oven, I hope so (Love Ruth! and all the Three Pines characters)

  13. Sue C. says:

    Just found this , and am so excited. I will be trying each of the recipes. I think i need to re-read each of the books too. I will be reading the new ones with a whole different eye!!

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