Friday, September 3, 2010

Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

This pie brings back wonderful memories of childhood when my family would enjoy this sweet dessert at the old Durbin Hotel in Rushville, Indiana and at the Copper Kettle in Morristown. I love this original recipe because the pie is a tad runny rather than the consistency of a firm custard. It comes out great, whether one chooses to use 2% or whole milk or cream.

The Copper Kettle, Morristown, Indiana

The recipe has been traced back to 1816, the year Indiana became a state and has been said to have originated by early Quaker settlers. (See photo of one of my pioneer Quaker great, great, grandmothers.)

This pie was a staple after the fall harvest, when all the fruit was gone. When the settlers would run out of apples and fruit from the fall harvest, they would start making these pies from ingredients available in almost any farmhouse when winter would start and around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Virtually unheard of outside of Indiana, Sugar Cream Pie officially became Indiana’s State Pie in 2009.

Preheat oven to 410 degrees.


1 unbaked pie crust
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 generous tablespoon butter
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 pinch salt
Your choice of 2% or whole milk or cream (1-1 ½ cups…enough to fill pie shell).
1 egg yolk
Sprinkle of nutmeg and/or cinnamon

Mix brown and white sugar with flour. Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture over pie crust. Beat egg yolk and butter with milk. Fill pie shell. Take a spoon and swirl it through the milk mixture a couple of times. Sprinkle top with cinnamon or nutmeg.
Bake at 410 degrees for 10 minutes. Then bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The filling should be bubbling. The center should still jiggle. Be careful not to overcook or the filling will not set.

P.S. Sadly, the Durbin Hotel closed years ago, but the Copper Kettle is still serving their famous fried chicken dinners and sugar cream pie!


  1. Dear Cassandra
    This Sugar Cream Pie looks delicious and I will definitely try it! We have a very similar kind of pie in South Africa called Milk is delicious and made with lots of milk and cinnamon as well.....
    Thanks for this post!
    Ingrid :)

  2. Dear Cassandra, Oh what a pity that the Durbin Hotel is no longer. I love its motto of 'A Haven for Travellers for Over a Century'. It looks just the kind of place that I should choose to stay.

    As for your custard tart- it looks, as I am sure it tastes, absolutely delicious. However, I just know, at a glance, that this receipt is far too advanced for me.

    How strange it seems to me to have the state of Indiana adopting a custard tart!!

  3. It looks very yammie yammie...i wish i could smell this........happy weekend Ria....

  4. This looks delicious, Cassandra! And it has a sweet name too.

  5. Hello Cassandra! this pie looks very good, thank you for the recipe. i will bake it tomorow and will tell you how i find it! catherine

  6. Hi I am Gail. Wow, Just the other day I was adding some of our old family recipes onto my computer. Today I saw your recipe for Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie. The recipe that I have is similar to yours but my Mother-In-Law called it Poor Mans' Pie and it doesn't call for an egg yolk. It is one of my husbands favorites. Story goes that the family was originally from Kentucky/Pennsylvania, some Quaker background, and they moved to Dayton OH. I am going to try your recipe because it looks like your filling may set better than my recipe. I have lived coast to coast and north to south and never had anyone I came across know about this pie. So, thank you for sharing.


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