Baking and More

 

“I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.” 

A quote from my favorite film “Julie and Julia”.

To be deeply honest, I have no actual education in cooking or baking. I only have a therapeutic need to bring cookies to every meeting I attend and a Grandma peeking over my shoulder in the kitchen. If you, dear friend, would like to join me, start at the beginning. My very first blog post and coincidentally my favorite pie: Sugar Cream.


 

Sugar Cream Pie

As a born and raised Hoosier, the love and desire for Sugar Cream Pie is basically in my DNA. This warm, custard pie oozes into your mouth filling your brain with pictures only of Heaven and hugs. The reasoning for that is simple…

Sugar Cream Pie literally consists of cream, butter, and sugar. With ingredients like that, how could anything go wrong? While your diet may not allow it, how could you ever pass up on an entire stick of butter and two beautiful cups of half and half. Sprinkled with cinnamon and just a pinch of nutmeg, Sugar Cream Pie is the high school boyfriend we never got over.

Can I let you in on a little secret? I mean we’re friends right? Right. I have never made a pie crust from scratch. That’s right… Never. Don’t tell anyone okay? In fact I have even upfront lied about this fact (mostly to my family) because little do some know that store bought pie crust is pretty darn good! It’s true, along with Digornio Pizza, and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, I like to think science has done some pretty amazing things with its freezing technology. I prefer Marie Callender’s brand although for this particular pie I used a regular Pillsberry and it turned out just fine.

IMG_3477
So let’s tie on our aprons and kick our families out of the kitchen because it is time to focus! (Not really, Brad the cat is eyeing my cream and Mom is giggling at my picture taking).

IMG_3478But real quick, can we just take a moment together to appreciate this lovely couple? Because I feel like the moment you see Cinnamon and Nutmeg on the ingredients list you know it’s going to be special. That is all. Thanks for that.

Moving on

So you start by combining your sugar, cornstarch (yes it really is 3 tbsp, I also checked twice), and salt into a medium saucepan. Add both your creams and then stir over medium heat.

IMG_3479If you’re anything like I am the idea of stirring over a saucepan is terrifying. So many horrific stories of creams boiling over and sugar burning to the bottom. I know. Take a deep breath. Everything will be okay, we can get through this together.

You need to stir constantly to make sure that tricky sugar doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of your pan… Pull up a chair and use this time to really connect with your thoughts. Or turn on the tv. That’s what I did.

Keep stirring, do not give up, do you hear me? This is a test of endurance. And just when you start to think it will never thicken you will start to smell the beautiful aroma of warmed cream. Soon after that the cream will slowly thicken (no I promise it’s not just your arm getting tired) and you will pull out your spoon and see something like this IMG_3485Never has cream, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch looked so glamorous.

Finally you may remove your saucepan from the heat and add in your little chunks of heavenIMG_3487Oops, did I say heaven? I meant butter… but sort of the same thing right? Also add in your brown sugar and vanilla and stir to combine. Quick word of advice? Sprinkle in the brown sugar instead of adding one large clump, this will allow it to easily dissolve into creamy goodness. Pour this mixture into your pie shell and sprinkle with that dynamite duo, cinnamon and nutmeg. This time I was actually able to fill two pie shells, although that could be from my very shallow Pillsberry crusts.

IMG_3488  Let them hang out and get to know each other in a 325 degree F oven for 30 minutes. While you wait use every ounce of power you have not to lick out every drop from the pan… and then do it anyways because you just worked hard!

IMG_3490As your house fills with that sweet aroama slowly pull out your not so difficult, Sugar Cream Pie.

IMG_3495IMG_3494One of mine bubbled over but that’s okay! I mean, who ever complained about too much pie filling? No one. And if they do, don’t be friends with them. Eat one piece, and then a second because calories don’t count when you made it yourself.

Sugar Cream Pie

9inch Pie Crust

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups half-and-half cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tsp vanilla

Sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add half-and-half and heavy whipping cream. Stir consistently over medium heat until cream thickens and bubbles slightly. This can take awhile.

Remove from heat and add in butter until melted. Sprinkle in brown sugar and vanilla and stir to combine. Pour in pie shell and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg according to taste.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, pie should be bubbling. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

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