We’re just three days from March 14 and you know what that means. Pi Day is almost here! Every year, I have such fun deciding what sort of pie to make to celebrate. Some time over the last year, I came across one of those 15 seconds of social media fame articles about what dessert each state is known for. I had no idea what might be the dessert of Indiana and my mind blanked as I scrolled downward. When I saw it listed as sugar cream pie, I was even more perplexed. I had literally never heard of it before.

As a lifelong Hoosier, clearly I needed to address this pressing issue. Pi Day seemed the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. Now that I have tried it, I think sugar cream pie is a perfectly midwestern sort of food. It’s very low maintenance, rich and delicious. The filling is extremely simple with just a handful of ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make.

Caroline helped me make it and was fairly disappointed that it didn’t require more measuring and mixing, but we were all happy to taste the finished dessert. The filling is smooth and creamy and the whole thing reminds me of a low key creme brûlée.  Plus, what a great name – sugar cream pie. Sounds like a sassy pet name for someone, right? Whatever way you decide to celebrate Pi Day, I hope it is all around wonderful. (Get it?! All around? I kill me.)

Looking for more Pi Day inspiration? Be sure to check the pie category – so many great options to choose from!

Ingredients

1 recipe basic pie dough

For the filling: 

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (plus more for dusting)
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  • 01

    To blind-bake the pie shell, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc.  Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired.  Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.  Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.)  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚ F.

  • 02

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream, then stir in the half and half and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie shell.

  • 03

    Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is browned and the center is just set. Dust with additional cinnamon, if desired. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Source

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8703/16136407294_9fcb1fee8a_c.jpg
  • Amelia

    Haha, I love your jokes.

  • Becca Harris

    Confession: I’ve never actually tried any sort of pie. (WHAAAT?) At 24 years old, I know what a travesty this is. I aim to change all that this March 14th, and I think I might just do it with this pie. It looks delicious!

  • I haven’t heard of this pie either, but I’m happy you brought it to my attention! It looks dreamy!

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    haha I wouldn’t mind someone calling me sugar cream pie. it looks super yummy! I think my husband would not want to share.

  • Harriet B

    This looks yummy and easy! Thanks for sharing! Can I ask a question about blind baking (I checked your FAQs and don’t see anything there). Obviously you said you did it here. Do you always for baked pies? To make the crust crisper? I never have for pies I was going to bake anyway. I worry about the top edge of the crust getting too brown and it’s a pain to try to put foil around it with a filling in it! Just wondering if you’d share your insights!

  • Hi Annie – First of all, I love your blog. Thank you so much for all of your hard work! I was born and raised in Indiana (just north of Indy, but currently living in Kansas City) and just this Monday I had a conversation with a coworker about Sugar Cream Pie. I also had never tried it. I am heading home next week and think I need to bake one up for my family. Thanks again!

  • annieseats

    That is a great question. Blind baking is typically used for pies with custard or cream type fillings. Sometimes the crust needs to be fully blind baked for no bake fillings (banana cream pie, for example.) Other custard/cream pies (like pumpkin, sugar cream, salty honey pie) do have the filling baked. You don’t *have* to blind bake the crust but I have a personal aversion to the texture of the bottom crust when a cream/custard pie is made without blind baking first. The crust on the bottom is soggy and just not good. Blind baking fixes that problem. Though many recipes for pumpkin pie, sugar cream pie, etc. will not call for blind baking (this one originally did not), I do it anyway and I think it really helps.

    It should not be done with double crust pies, since then it is difficult to get the top crust to attach to the bottom (though I’m sure an egg white brushing could make it possible.)

    If the rim of the crust starts to brown too much during baking because you blind baked the crust, you can just cover it loosely with foil and it will prevent over browning.

    Wow, sorry for the long winded response! Apparently I am passionate about blind baking. Ha!

  • Robin

    Sugar Cream Pie is my husband’s favorite; I look forward to trying this version of it!

  • Lisa Joy

    Wick’s Sugar Cream Pies are certainly an eastern Indiana delicacy. They’re made in Winchester (east of Muncie and north of Richmond), and I grew up with them at family reunions and church potlucks in Berne, IN. My dad still asks for one for his birthday every summer, and we eat it nice and chilled.

  • So glad you have tried it — and liked it! I grew up getting sugar cream pie from Ahlemeyer Farm’s Bakery in Columbus (http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/172/984393/restaurant/Indiana/Ahlemeyer-Farms-Old-Time-Bakery-Columbus) and I am addicted to the stuff!

  • Angela

    Math humor. Your game is strong. :)

    This year’s pi day will be epic. I’m so (dorky) excited.

  • Carol Fisher

    I’ve never made it before…you should try the Sugar Cream Pie at Wick’s in Winchester IN–they’re famous for it & its not far from Indy! Fun family trip…research for pie day!

  • Harriet B

    Just wanted to say thanks for the reply – that was very helpful. :) I have never thought my crusts were bad (for pumpkin pie for example) BUT I bet they would be better blind baked!

  • This looks so delicious! I adore pi day and crême brûlée too!

  • How adorable! I didn’t know there was a Pi day! Now I must make a pie for pi day =P

    Juju

  • Melanie

    I found a recipe for sugar cream pie, in The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie (imagine that). She said that they put it in the freezer and eat it that way, in their bakeshop. It was sooo yummy that way!

  • Emily Salsky

    Annie, I am so glad you posted this recipe! I call my twin boys “Sugar Pie” pretty much every day, and I was just wondering aloud to my husband, what really is a sugar pie? Your blog and recipes are my favorite and where I always turn to first when searching for something to make. Thanks!

  • Oh man! I was planning to try your salty honey pie for Pi Day but now I want both!! ;o)

  • lemonsugar

    My grandma used to make a pie like this – we just called it custard pie! It’s one of those missing recipes, so I’m trying this ASAP to see if it’s the same! :) Love this!

  • Kristen

    I made this last night and it is absolutely delicious! And so easy to make! This would be a great recipe to make during the Christmas season :)

  • Susie Rayburn

    This is a favorite of my Hoosier family, though the recipe I use requires only white sugar, flour, half & half, and vanilla. It’s completely scrumptious!

  • annieseats

    So glad to hear it!

  • annieseats

    I’m guessing this is slightly different, as custard should include eggs. Hopefully it is similar though!

  • annieseats

    Ha! That is awesome :)

  • Tricia Loy Kritikos

    Mmmmm. I haven’t made one of these in a long time. Use to make them (and other pies) when I worked in the Marsh bakery/pie shop in high school. Lol.

  • I’ve never heard of this pie either, but I’m definitely glad you decided to share. I feel like midwest desserts are somehow always the most comforting and delicious.

  • Shari

    Annie,

    I am having an issue, whenever I blind bake the crust it shrinks noticeably, I am using a 9 inch glass pie dish. Do you have any suggestions on preventing this?

  • annieseats

    Are you using baking beads or something similar to weigh it down? If so, maybe you need more so the weight is heavier.

  • BrendaB

    My family are huge fans of sugar cream pie, especially Mrs. Wick’s. I tried your recipe for Pi day and it got big thumbs up from the toughest critics in my house! We just moved to Florida from Indy, and can’t find sugar cream pie here, so I have to make my own! Thanks for this recipe. I have a suggestion for you. Try the sugar cream pie at Locally Grown Gardens in Broad Ripple. It’s divine!! His crust is kind of free form, but so delicious!

  • annieseats

    Woo! That is an excellent compliment. So glad you tried it and SO glad you enjoyed it!

  • Yippeekiyah

    I was weaned on Sugar Cream Pie, so naturally assumed everyone had this delectable dessert at their table. I realize now how lucky I am!
    Most of us have no recipe, learning to make this pie while standing next to our mothers and grandmothers. Mine is a version whipped up by “eye”, cooked on the stove top, then poured into the crust for baking. A final sprinkling of sugar and nutmeg gives it a bubbly caramelized layer, a slight crack saying to pull it from the oven. I am of Swiss/German Amish descent – typical dairymen. The cream on the top of the milk jug was readily available and only so much butter could be consumed.
    My Palitinate German family line never made it, but fruit pie was readily consumed at breakfast. A farm family, they also had numerous “meals” throughout the day. Breakfast before dawn and milking, lunch was late morning, dinner was late afternoon and supper was the last meal of the day. The heartiest and most filling being dinner, usually slow cooked, after an exhausting day in the fields or barns. A true Hoosier knows not how to explain why we refer to Sunday “lunch” as dinner, other than it was on a day of rest, so one large meal would be prepared and consumed after church.
    Of course, no matter the recipe, a pie is only as good as it’s crust and every Hoosier woman swears by her grandmother’s method.
    Enjoy your discovery! Please, always add “Hoosier” to the name of Sugar Cream Pie, so it’s American origins will never be misplaced or forgotten.

  • Shari

    Just tried your suggestion, it worked! Thanks Annie,

  • annieseats

    Glad to hear it!

  • ddxne

    Annie, I always blind bake a 1 crust pie. Like you I can’t stand a half raw, soggy bottomed pie crust. The crisp, flaky, crunchy texture really compliments a soft pie filling. It’s total heaven.