Sugar Cream Pie sounds like something a youngster would dream up while messing around in the kitchen. Its history is somewhat more serious than child's play; The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie relates the story of pioneer wives who would throw ingredients together in an unbaked pie shell, stirring it with their fingers to avoid dirtying a dish. Though it may not be the prettiest pie, it's got beautiful flavors, with a filling that tastes like toasted sugar, and, well, cream.
Tips: Easier than scraping the bean, vanilla paste is a step above vanilla extract. To make it, vanilla pods are scraped into a thickened syrup, preserving the millions of tiny bean specks that end up flecking and flavoring your baked goods. Vanilla paste, instead of extract, is called for in this recipe, and for good reason, since its more intense flavor and speckled appearance are both well-suited to a pie this simple. Nielsen-Massey makes a fine paste.
Tweaks: In previous Hoosier Mama recipe writeups, I've recommended splitting the work between two days to make finishing a pie easier. This time, I have one main suggestion, and it comes courtesy of Hoosier Daddy Craig Siegelin: don't be afraid to take the pie out of the oven. It won't look cooked, but it will set once it sits.
As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Hoosier Mama Book Of Pie to give away.