Grandma’s old-fashioned sugar cream custard pie topped with a buttery & crispy sugar cinnamon brûlée coating.
This post is being sponsored by my friends at Rodelle featuring their amazing Rodelle Fair Trade Vanilla Extract. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I trust and believe in.
This is the pie that made me burst into tears in my kitchen after one single bite. You see, this was Grandma’s Pie. I don’t think I can’t count high enough on how many times I saw her make it.
So creamy. So decadent. So unforgettable – that’s this pie!
This was a pie she grew up having as a kid as it didn’t require a lot of ingredients (heck not even eggs!). For her, growing up in the depression ingredients were scarce as she would tell but when you took that first bite, you felt like you were the richest of all.
Grab Your Ingredients
This recipe uses pantry (and fridge) staples:
- Prebaked Pie Crust – homemade or storebought
- Dry ingredients – sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg
- Fridge – butter, heavy cream
- Star of the dish – Rodelle Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
What Is Fair Trade Vanilla Extract?
What I can appreciate equally as important as the taste and quality is the supply chain transparency and traceability back to the vanilla farmers who nurture and care for each bean.
Make the Vanilla Sugar Cream Filling
This filling is only 7 ingredients that either we already have on hand or can be easily bought in the store/online.
- In a deep pot, add the cream, softened butter, corn starch, and salt over medium heat until it becomes thickened. You’re looking for a thick pudding-like consistency.
- Make sure to stir/whisk constantly to not burn the cream.
Chef’s Tips About The Filling
You want to cook this over medium heat until it thickens and just barely starts to boil. You do not want to boil it else you risk having the mixture break and curdle.
Add In The Rodelle Fair Trade Vanilla Extract. Once the mixture is pudding-like, shut the heat off, add in the extract and whisk to stir it in.
Transfer the pudding mixture into the prepared pie crust and top with the Butter and Cinnamon Sugar Nutmeg mixture.
Pop this into the oven for about 10 minutes just to “set” the pudding.
Crispy Sugar Cinnamon Nutmeg Brûlée Topping
So this is the part of the pie that well, made the pie ‘regal’ or “fancy schmancy” as my grandma used to say.
- Drizzle melted unsalted butter all over the top of the pudding mixture.
- Next, combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk together and sprinkle the entire amount over the top of the butter. Yes, it looks like a lot (and it kinda is but it’s dessert, it should be a bit ‘extra’).
- Since the pie crust is already cooked, wrap a ring of aluminum foil around the pie crust so it doesn’t burn, and pop the whole pie under the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute at most just to caramelize the sugars and brûlée the top.
This is what gives it that caramelized crispy, crunchy sweet top.
Waiting…The Hardest Part
Once it’s pulled out of the oven you need to allow it to cool completely on a wire rack then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
Trust me…IT’S WORTH THE WAIT!!!
Vertical Supply Chain
As I’ve mentioned before, Rodelle uses a vertical supply chain beginning with vanilla farmers in Madagascar to ensure the highest quality beans are cultivated and picked. This means a fully traceable supply chain. Additionally, it allows them to provide fair market prices for their products.
Fair Trade Certification
By having Fair Trade’s certification, they are able to sweeten their partnership with an additional layer of oversight and authentication. This allows you and I to trust that the farmers receive fair market prices for their crops, support with social programs and so much more.
Why This Pie Made Me Cry
I hadn’t made this pie since my Grandma passed away. It was just something so personal, so special to me that it honestly was hard to bring myself to make.
With the change of the seasons, I knew I wanted to make a pie that not only was amazing but also let that amazing vanilla flavor shine through, this pie immediately came to mind.
All it took was one bite (literally it was this bite in the picture) that I immediately had tears of happiness roll down my cheeks. This was Grandma to me.
Creamy, Crunchy, Perfect
Mr. Fantabulous had never had this pie and was taken back when he saw me with tears on my cheeks as he took a bite. He didn’t understand my connection to it.
From a single bite he said, “Oh honey, this is beyond incredible! It’s so decadent and sweet but in the most luscious and creamy way. This pie is truly pretty special.”
Some may know this pie as a Hoosier Pie, Indiana Sugar pie, or Eggless Custard Pie. Grandma was never in Indiana, most likely had no clue what a Hoosier was, and honestly, just made what she grew up making.
This is her pie recipe as I know it and what’s been shared throughout the generations.
It’s an old-fashioned pie for sure that honestly, needs no improvement.
Sometimes classics are just that; classic!Print
- 1 9” Deep Dish Pie Crust, blind-baked *See notes on how to do this
- 2 1/4 cups / 529.1 g heavy cream
- 3/4 cup / 150.6 g granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon / 1.5 g kosher salt
- 4 Tablespoons / 30 g cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons / 56.7 g butter, softened and unsalted
- 1 Tablespoon / 13 g Rodelle Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
- 4 Tablespoons / 56.7 g butter, melted and unsalted
- 1/2 cup / 100.4 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons / 5.52 g cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon / 1.2 g nutmeg
Make the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. To a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add the heavy cream, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and butter. Whisk to combine and then continue to whisk until the mixture comes together and forms a thick pudding-like consistency. This will take ~15-20 minutes. Do not let it boil as you risk breaking the mixture (it could curdle).
- Once the mixture is very thick, turn the heat off and add in the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and pop it in the oven to set the custard for 10 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and set the oven to broil with a rack 6-8” from the broiler.
Make the Topping & Finish The Pie
- In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. To the hot pie, pour the melted butter over top of the custard. Next, sprinkle on all of the cinnamon mixture.
- Take a few strips of aluminum foil (or pie crust guards) and cover the crust of the pie. You’re doing this so you won’t burn the crust in the next step.
- Pop the pie back into the oven under the broiler for 30-60 seconds. You just want to caramelize the sugars and brûlée the top.
Chill Out Then Serve
- Pull the pie from the oven, remove the foil and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, wrap the pie in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
- To serve slice and serve as-is or with some cinnamon nutmeg whipped cream.
To blind bake the pie crust
- Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the raw crust, place down parchment paper then pie weights. Bake at 400F (or whatever your pie crust recipe calls for) for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully remove the pie weights and parchment and place the crust back into the oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Keywords: Vanilla Sugar Cream Pie, Hoosier cream pie, old-fashioned pie, old-fashioned custard pie, sweet cream pie, grandma recipe