Sugar. Cream. Pie.
Okay you guys, help me with this. Who was like, “I’m gonna mix up some sugar and some cream and bake it all up in a pie?” Who thinks that way? (Ok, maybe I do. A little bit.)
Seriously, this is just what it sounds like. Sugar and cream in a pie crust. And it’s fantastic. Oh, just a custard pie, right? I know what you’re thinking. But it’s not. There are no eggs in this pie! It is literally baked cream. Did I mention how fantastic it is yet?
It’s creamy and milky and sweet and topped with just a touch of nutmeg – which to me, makes it taste a bit like egg nog – but there are NO eggs.
I’m not sure why this is so strange to me.
I’m also not sure why this is the first time I’ve made a sugar cream pie. I LOVED my Grandma’s custard pie, so I’ve been curious about the difference between the two for a while now. And, now I know.
It’s really a texture difference. It’s, like I said, very creamy – but almost has a sticky consistency. I know that doesn’t sound terribly appetizing, but I don’t mean it’s sticky in a bad way, I mean it’s sticky in a GOOD way. Have you ever had a Banofee pie? This is pretty much the same deal.
Also – I love this pie cold, right out of the fridge. And whipped cream doesn’t hurt one little bit.
In my recipe research, I saw many variations on the topping. I opted for a very light sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, but I saw tons of other options, too, such as bruleed sugar, cinnamon, cinnamon and sugar under the broiler, and even caramel sauce.
Gotta say though, I loved the nutmeg and whipped cream. I’m not sure I have any desire to try it another way. (But I’m also the girl that orders the same thing in restaurants, too. Once I find something I like, I stick with it.)
The trickiest part about this pie happens to be the crust. I found that it’s pretty difficult to keep the crust from over-browning, but I came up with a tip or two that might help.
First, lower your baking rack to the lower 1/3 of your oven. When you bake the pie, place the pie dish on a light-aluminum cookie sheet to prevent the bottom from over-browning. Then, tent the pie with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. My pie shield didn’t work well – the foil definitely gave me a better result.
Brush your pie crust with a bit of milk or egg white mixed with water. It gives it a pretty, glossy appearance.
So good. All of it.
I hope you love it. Enjoy!
- 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold
- 5-6 Tablespoons ice water
- 1 and ¼ cups sugar
- 1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 and ¼ cups half-and-half
- 1 and ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- About 1 Tablespoon sugar, to garnish
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.
- Quickly cut butter into small cubes, and add to flour mixture. Work quickly so the butter stays very cold.
- Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut in butter to small pea size.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time just until dough pulls together.
- Remove the ball of dough from the bowl, and flatten it into a disc.
- Lightly flour surface.
- Flatten disk with 6-8 taps of the rolling pin.
- Roll dough, and after every roll, lift dough give ¼ turn.
- Roll into a 12 inch circle.
- Once rolled, use the rolling pin to roll up the dough and transfer it to a pie plate.
- Unroll the dough, trim the edges and crimp as desired.
- Line the dough with a sheet of parchment paper and fill the pie dish with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake until the crust begins to just turn brown at the edge, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the pie dish to a cooling rack, and remove the paper and weights.
- Prepare filling.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the flour, and then stir in the half-and-half, cream, and vanilla.
- Pour the cream into the pie crust, and sprinkle the top of the cream with sugar.
- Bake until the filling is lightly set but jiggles when tapped on the side, 1 hour and 30 minutes. (Oven will remain at 375 degrees (F).
- Use foil or a pie-crust shield to prevent over-browning of the crust. I just tent my pie with foil the entire time it's in the oven.
- Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely. Grate nutmeg over the top just before serving.