Even when it seems like I can’t pack any more into my life, I still somehow, someway, find a way to entertain when I can. Of course, when I’m short on time I’m not preparing incredibly complex meals; instead I’m serving up something simple like a pasta dish, a salad, or a casserole.
For instance, just a few weeks ago (it seems so long ago!) I whipped up a Greek Pasta Bowl for my some of lovely lady friends (recipe to come next week) and, although it was anything but complicated, it satisfied both me and my companions.
If you know me, you know I can’t live without dessert, so even on hectic weeknight I try to prepare something sweet for my guests. A month earlier my mom had mailed me several pie recipes she’d ripped out of Country Living magazine (isn’t she the best?), and the recipes had been sitting on my desk just waiting to be made. I searched through them looking for the least complicated one and I found it in the Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie.
From what I’ve read online, Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie aka Indiana Sugar Cream Pie aka Sugar Pie aka Finger Pie is what you would call a “desperation pie.” Ha! It originated in the 1800s from Shaker/Amish folks who still yearned for something sweet when the fruit and apple bins ran dry. They developed the Sugar Cream Pie recipe so they could have their cake and eat it too when there was no other sweet stuff to be found.
Sugar Cream Pie is made of just that: cream, two different kinds of sugar, milk, flour and vanilla—all things you probably have just lying around your house. When I saw how easy the pie was to make, I knew it was going to be my dessert of choice for the evening.
I made my own piecrust (it only takes 10 minutes, really!) but you can always substitute a store-bought one, such as Pillsbury. Although the filling looks kind of scary and a bit lumpy when you mix everything together, it bakes up beautifully. A sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar on top of the filling before baking makes the pie crispy and crunchy on top and silky and moist underneath. This would be a great pie for summer because you can serve it chilled—granted, the top won’t be as crunchy, but it will still be delicious and soothingly refreshing.
Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie
This recipe comes from Country Living magazine: “This simple and sweet pie came from Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington, Indiana. They add a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle to the top before baking for a special touch.” The topping is what gives this pie a crunchy crust and smooth, creamy interior. The pie filling is going to be weird looking and lumpy—never fear, it will bake up just fine. Prep Time: 20 minutes. Total Time: 1 hr, 20 min. Serves 8. Click here to download a printable copy of this recipe.
2 c. heavy cream
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) piecrust, store-bought or homemade
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Make pie filling. Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a medium bowl, combine heavy cream, flour, brown sugar, ½ c. granulated sugar, milk and vanilla. Mixture will seem slightly lumpy.
Form and fill crust. Fit the piecrust into a 9-inch pie pan and dot the bottom of it with butter. Pour filling into crust.
Top and bake. Combine cinnamon and 3 Tbs. sugar and sprinkle on top of the pie. Bake the pie in the center of a preheated oven until the pie is set and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack. After it cooled down, I chilled mine in the fridge before serving, but it’s completely up to you. This pie would be great room temperature or chilled.