This Sugar Cream Pie is creamy, perfectly sweet, and balanced with the hint of spice from the topping. It all combines to create a dessert that is truly mouthwatering. It’s a simple pie made with common ingredients, but the results are truly phenomenal.
Sugar Cream Pie
I’m so excited to share this old-fashioned recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite in no time! This Sugar Cream Pie is a classic (almost) no-bake dessert that’s easy to prepare and completely delicious.
Hoosier Pie is a type of Desperation Pie that hails from the heart of Indiana. It’s a simple, yet decadent dish that is a local favorite.
It’s made of a creamy, custard-like filling that’s sweet but not overly so. That’s nestled in a flaky and buttery pie crust, then it’s all topped off with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar that caramelizes into a thin, crispy layer as it bakes.
I love that it’s made with simple, easy-to-find ingredients. Despite its fancy name, this pie is incredibly straightforward to make. All you need is a pie crust, heavy cream, sugar, a bit of cornstarch, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Since it needs time to rest in the fridge, it’s a great make-ahead dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It will last in the fridge for a few days, although it’s so delicious, I doubt it will stick around that long!
Pie Crust: We’re using store bought pie crust that’s been pre-baked and cooled for the base of our Sugar Cream Pie. I love the ease of using a store bought crust, but you’re more than welcome to make your own homemade flaky pie crust if you prefer!
Heavy Cream: The heavy whipping cream is crucial in giving the Sugar Cream Pie its rich, creamy texture.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is used to add sweetness to the pie. Sugar also makes the texture of the custard smoother and softer, so I wouldn’t recommend lessening the amount because it will change the texture.
Cornstarch: This ingredient is essential for thickening the pie’s filling. It helps to ensure that the filling is smooth and not runny.
Salt: A touch of fine sea salt is added to the pie to enhance and balance the sweet flavor.
Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter is added to the filling to lend a rich depth of flavor. It’s best to use high-quality, unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in your pie and for better flavor.
Pure Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the pie filling, giving it a hint of warmth and sweetness. Opt for pure vanilla extract over imitation for better flavor if you can.
Cinnamon and Nutmeg: These two spices make up the spiced sugar topping. They add a sweet and fragrant finish to our pie. For the best flavor, try grinding your own nutmeg and using Ceylon cinnamon.
Unsalted Butter for Topping: We use more unsalted butter for drizzling over the top of the filling. This not only adds richness but also helps the spiced sugar topping adhere to the pie. As with the butter in the filling, opt for a high-quality, unsalted variety.
Sugar, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg for Topping: These create the spiced sugar topping that adds a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor to every bite. For the sugar, granulated works best as it creates a beautiful, caramelized finish when broiled.
How To Make Sugar Cream Pie
Prepare the Filling: In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Make sure to whisk everything together until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Now, place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken and bubble slightly. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Add the Butter and Vanilla: Once the mixture has thickened, take the saucepan off the heat. Now, whisk in the melted butter and vanilla extract until everything is fully incorporated.
Fill the Crust: Pour the thickened cream mixture into your pre-baked pie crust. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.
Prepare the Topping: In a small bowl, combine your granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Top the Pie: Drizzle the melted butter over the top of the filling. Sprinkle your spiced sugar topping evenly over the surface of the pie.
Bake the Pie: Place the pie in a preheated oven until the edges of the filling have set and the center is slightly jiggly.
Broil the Pie: After the initial baking, adjust the oven setting to broil. Put the pie back in the oven, positioning it on a rack below the broiler. Broil just until the sugar topping is caramelized and bubbly.
Cool and Set: Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. As the pie cools, the filling will continue to set. Once the pie has reached room temperature, cover it and refrigerate to allow the filling to fully set and the flavors to meld together. It’s important to let it fully come to room temperature before you refrigerate it because we are trying to remove water vapor from the pie. By letting it cool before you cover it, you won’t see condensation appear on the bottom of the cling film.
Serve: When you’re ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature to make slicing easier. Cut the pie into individual servings and enjoy! See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- Patience is Key: When cooking the filling, it’s important to be patient. Keep the heat at medium and stir constantly to prevent scorching or lumps.
- Choose Quality Ingredients: The simplicity of this pie means that the quality of each ingredient really shines through. Opt for high-quality heavy cream, pure vanilla extract, and fresh spices for the best flavor.
- Allow Ample Cooling Time: Don’t rush the cooling process. Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating. This ensures the filling sets properly and the flavors have time to meld together.
- Slice at Room Temperature: Before serving, let your pie sit at room temperature for a few minutes. This makes slicing easier and brings out the pie’s full flavor profile.
What Is The History Of Sugar Cream Pie?
Sugar Cream Pie, also affectionately known as Hoosier Pie, traces its roots back to Indiana, USA. It’s believed to be a product of the state’s Amish and Shaker communities. These groups often had to make do with what they had on hand, hence the pie’s simple ingredients. Over time, this delicious pie has become a beloved local staple.
What Is Another Name For It?
Aside from being known as Sugar Cream Pie, this dessert is also commonly referred to as “Hoosier Pie” because it’s such a beloved dessert in Indiana, which is also called the “Hoosier state”.
What Does Hoosier Pie Taste Like?
Sugar Cream Pie is a delicious blend of flavors. Its creamy filling is sweet but not overly so, and the spiced sugar topping adds a hint of warmth and a slightly crunchy texture. All of this is served in a flaky pie crust that balances out the sweetness of the filling.
Why Isn’t It Setting Up?
If your custard pie isn’t setting up, it could be because of a couple of reasons. One might be that the filling hasn’t been cooked long enough to thicken properly. Another could be that the pie hasn’t been refrigerated long enough for the filling to set.
Does It Have Eggs?
This recipe doesn’t use eggs. It’s a simple custard pie that relies on heavy cream and cornstarch for its texture.
What’s The Difference Between Sugar Cream Pie And Chess Pie?
While both pies have a sweet, creamy filling, there are some key differences. Chess Pie typically includes eggs and cornmeal in its filling, giving it a slightly different texture. Sugar Cream Pie, on the other hand, does not use eggs or cornmeal.
Does It Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, it should be refrigerated. After the pie has cooled to room temperature, cover it and place it in the refrigerator to allow the filling to fully set and the flavors to meld together.
How Long Does It Last In Fridge?
It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can You Freeze It?
I wouldn’t recommend it. The creamy filling can separate when thawed, which makes the filing grainy and watery. It’s best to enjoy this pie fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other pie recipes. Some reader favorites are:
- Chocolate Pie
- Million Dollar Pie
- Eggnog Pie
- Lemon Icebox Pie
- Raspberry Pie
- Chocolate Jello Pudding Pie
- 1 9-inch pie crust, pre-baked and cooled
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (Madagascar vanilla is best)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (or Turbinado Sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon is best)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk the mixture thoroughly until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and starts to bubble gently. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes. Be patient and continue stirring to prevent scorching or lump formation.
- Once the mixture has thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the melted butter and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
- Pour the thickened cream mixture into the pre-baked pie crust, spreading it out evenly with a spatula.
- In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to make the spiced sugar topping. Mix well.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the top of the filling. Sprinkle the spiced sugar topping evenly over the pie's surface, covering the cream filling.
- Place the pie on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the pie filling have set. The center of the pie should still be slightly jiggly.
- After the initial baking time, remove the pie from the oven and adjust the oven setting to broil. Place the pie back in the oven, positioning it on a rack about 6 inches below the broiler. Broil the pie for 1-3 minutes, or until the sugar topping is caramelized and bubbly. Keep a close eye on the pie during this process to prevent burning.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. As the pie cools, the filling will continue to set.
- Once the pie has reached room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the filling to fully set and the flavors to meld.
- When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator and let it sit for 10-15 minutes at room temperature to make slicing easier. Use a sharp knife to cut the pie into individual servings. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 538Total Fat: 42.8gCarbohydrates: 36.1gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 20.6gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate
A classic, creamy, and old fashioned Sugar Cream Pie that’s sure to be a family favorite!