Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Indiana Sugar Cream Cranberry Pie, Me oh My!

When I think of pie, I think of fresh strawberries piled six inches high, dripping in red, sugary filling. Or mounds of whipped cream over a creamy, dreamy chocolaty cloud.  Or my favorite- apple, smelling of cinnamon winter delights, all cute with top crusts of leaf cutouts, hearts or lattice.

These are the arm candy pies.

But what about the simpler pies?  The pies with the stories.  The pies that may not photograph well, or be featured on the cover of foodie magazines, but the ones you dream about, even though they're not the prettiest pie on the plate.

This is a pie you'd bring home to Mother!


I first discovered Indiana Sugar Cream Pies from my mother, who grew up in Anderson, Indiana. Apparently, Sugar Cream Pies are big there, and those happy Hoosiers are hardcore when it comes to their humble pie.

Now I understand why, oh my.

Love caramel? You'll love Indiana Sugar Cream Pies.

Like custard pies? These are even better, without any eggs.

Want something simple to make for the holidays? This pie couldn't be easier!


My version builds from a traditional Sugar Cream Pie base (not messing with that one- no boy!) and adds my favorite cranberry topping. Cranberries add a lovely pop, and a nice tart contrast to the sweet brown sugary center- plus a beautiful presentation... just in time for the holidays.



Indiana Sugar Cream Cranberry Pie

For the pie:

1 deep dish pie crust, defrosted and pricked with a fork around edges and bottom
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1-1/2 c. whipping cream
2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the flour, sugars, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, heat up the cream over medium heat until lightly bubbling.  Then stir in butter to melt.  Pour cream mixture over the sugars and whisk to combine.  Pour all into the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and set but still a bit jiggly in the middle- like jello.

For the topping:

Add 1/2 c. sugar and 3 tablespoons of water to a large saucepan and melt over medium high heat.  Then stir in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch that has been dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water and stir for a few minutes.  Next add in the cranberries (I added frozen ones right in- 1 package) and the juice from 1/2 an orange.  Stir for about 3 minutes or until you start hearing popping from the cranberries.  Remove from heat and add in 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest. 

Once both are cooled, place filling over the pie and serve.  Best served at room temperature.

Pie, pie, me oh my, I love pie!

 



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