Monday, June 18, 2012

Sugar Cream Pie - for Rob

Sometimes my replies to comments turn into posts...

Sugar Cream Pie is one of those "desperation" pies from when people couldn't get ingredients like nuts or fruit.  Similar to mock apple pie, vinegar pie, etc.  There's an interesting discussion of the history here, although the true origins are lost to time.  The web seems to pretty consistently state that the pie was born around the same year as Indiana became a state (1816).

You can find lots of different recipes online, but this one is, IMHO, most likely to be historically accurate.

Picture credit:  Turkey Creek Lane 
You can buy them frozen around here, but they're hard to find elsewhere.  I was recently talking about them on Facebook with some local friends and people who had moved out of state.  The frozen ones don't have the layered quality that the one in the picture has.  It looks better than the frozen sort, to me.  To be honest, though, I don't like the pie well enough to go to the trouble of making one!

What's kind of funny is that I've lived in Indiana all my life, but never heard of sugar cream pie until I moved south.  My dad has lived here for over 50 years, and he hadn't had it before last night.  "The Region," as they call the area around Grammaland, is kind of it's own separate state.  We get most of our news from Chicago, the ethnic blend is very different, and it's just kind of its own little universe.  Sugar cream pie is more of a rural thing than a city thing, and Grammaland is definitely more urban than the rest of Indiana.  It makes sense that sugar cream pie would be rural, because the ingredients are all things that you'd have on hand on the farm, and don't go out of season.  In the city, you don't have to worry about having things on hand because it's an easy trip to the grocery store.

If you come visit we'll pick up a "Hoosier Pie" and treat you, Rob!


Rob Monroe said...


I love the the recipe is so Mid-West that you actually discard the egg WHITE and use just the yolk! :)

Out here they have Gooey Butter Cake and are shocked when I tell them that it's JUST a St Louis thing. I find it heavenly, Anny not so much. Actually, she does not like ANY of the "St Louisy" food - hates the pizza cheese, not a fan of the "toasted" ravioli and the Gooey Butter Cake is too sweet for her.

Amy Austin said...

Paula Dean has taken the Gooey Butter Cake national. My sister made one for her Christmas party last year. It had pumpkin in it - very good!

I love regional food. It's one of the things that the McDonaldsization of the U.S/world is causing us to lose, and I think that's sad.

Rob Monroe said...

D'oh, bad Paula Dean! I refuse to eat seafood out here, after having lived so close to the *actual* sea for my whole life.

We don't do McDonalds except for breakfast on the run (by myself, really) and for iced tea and apples. Abby does not even like french fries because of my diet, so there is even less reason to go! It is funny to see some of the movement of my favorite East Coast stuff, though, like Five Guys, but we rarely ever go to chains that are bigger than 10 or so stores.

Bev said...

I made Gooey Butter Cake for a family party at our house on Saturday after our grands tasted it for the first time when we were in St. Louis two weeks ago and begged for more. A couple of times I had made my BFFs recipe but Rich and I didn't like it, too sweet. I couldn't find that recipe so went online. Paula Deen's recipe calls for a cake mix size that is no longer available (yellow cake mixes are now 2 ounces less...grr) so I kept looking at recipes and discovered that Paula adds a whole stick of butter to the cream cheese layer that NO OTHER recipe had in it. The rest have no butter in that layer. So, I used the recipe that I was seeing over and over grands, all of our guests, Rich, and even I really liked it! I love regional foods.