The plain cream and brown sugar filling pie of Que

The plain cream and brown sugar filling pie of Quebecois tradition. (Warning – high fat and sugar)

When I wasn’t in boarding school, one of my fondest memories becoming an adult in Quebec was eating my mom's heavenly pies. She wasn’t your typical 1960's housewife, but baking pies was her moment of glory in the kitchen and her best kept secret.

To this very day, I’ve got a very sweet tooth and crave sugary desserts. The image I provide is a recent sugar pie I baked last month (tarte 'o' sucre 'a' creme, in French-Quebecois). My mother finally shared this simple delight's ingredients in 1990. It has five elements: using three for the crust and three for that filling.

For 2 pie crusts:

2 cups of regular white flour2/3 cup plain lard1/4 cup icy cold water


2 cups 10% pure cream (with no additives if at all possible)1 cup loosely filled medium brown sugar1 tablespoon regular white flour

Time needed: pastry crusts 1 hour, filling 15 minutes, baking 50 minutes.

    In a large bowl, measure and pour flour and cut lard, use fingers to break and mix together till evenly textured with pea size bits of lard. Add some icy water, use fork to moisten whole mixture, then use hands to smooth evenly by folding over gently , incorporating dry and wet components. Don’t overwork, this can result in a tough dough. The faster you can do this the greater.Shape in a disc and cover with plastic wrap, let cool in fridge about 40 minutes. In medium pan at low heat, simmer cream and sugar till sugar is melted and evenly glossy, about Ten minutes. Cool on stove.Go ahead and take cold dough disc from the fridge and cut in half. Roll out the half inside a circle between 2 layers of wax paper on table having a rolling pin, make sure it is the same thickness throughout. Carefully peel the wax paper from the top, place hand under and flip into pie plate, peel other layer off slowly while ensuring dough is laying flat against the 9 inch plate. Add flour to filling, whisk briskly and pour into dough in pie plate.Unveil the 2nd half in the same way because the first but in an inferior diameter. Peel top wax paper off. Utilizing a butter knife, cut long narrow strips about half an inch in width. Starting in the center of the pie plate use the longest strips of dough and place along with filling, all the way through and laterally, interweave and gently interlace more strips by gently lifting and placing back. When done all the way to the perimeters, fold bottom dough over top layer from the top strips end, balancing thickness as you go round the fringe of the pie plate. Crimp up edge of dough with three finger tips.Put on middle rack of oven in a 375 degree Fahrenheit temperature. The pie will bake as the filling thickens, the dough becoming a dark golden brown. After 50 minutes, if filling is bubbling up in center, it should be ready. I’ve found no need to place anything underneath plate while cooking.These simple ingredients should be as fresh as possible with the least amount of additives or any other chemicals. The taste depends upon this. It is a very subtle sweet light fudge sensation using the crunch of two plain flaky pastry layers to balance the sugar. Like a good stew, the flavor deepens and improves with time. Keep your pie loosely covered and then leave in your counter or shelf. Do not refrigerate. You are able to freeze for any future occasion as needed.

Bon Appetit!


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