When my dad’s family gather, my dad and his sister will reminisce about their mother’s (my grandma) brown sugar pie. I had never heard of a brown sugar pie until they mentioned it. My grandmother was not an elaborate cook by any means, but she did have a knack for making certain dishes – brown sugar pie being one of them.
Since there was only a memory of the pie and no recipe, I had to search for one and then offer it to my dad for the taste-test. The recipes I used were found on the Internet with everyone claiming their recipe was the best. I found out that this was not true – in my opinion. It sounds like a simple recipe, but the different variations in ingredients can make or break the outcome of the pie. The first one I made bombed – too sweet. The second pie was runny.
I began to lose hope that I would find the best brown sugar pie recipe…until yesterday. The Washingtonian‘s Ann Limpert published an article about pastry chef Lisa Scruggs’ brown sugar pie recipe. Her Canadian father made the pie every Christmas. This recipe sounded promising and fortunately, it included ingredients that I had on-hand.
Last night, I made a pie and a tart. I even made the pie crust, which I have never done before. The pie will be for my dad and the tart was for us (me). So far, in less than twelve hours, I have eaten half the tart all by myself. It is safe to say that this brown sugar pie recipe is the best!
Why am I determined to find a good recipe and make a pie for my dad? Well, because I love my grandma (who passed away in 1999), and I love my dad.
Happy Father’s Day!
Lisa Scruggs’ Brown Sugar Pie
Makes one 8-inch pie.
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 disk pie dough (half the recipe below)
1 8-inch tart pan
Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients (except the pie dough and ice cream or heavy cream) in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Roll out the pie dough, press it into the tart pan, and trim off any excess dough around the edges. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the pie shell and bake for 35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the filling has set. Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice and serve with heavy cream or ice cream.
Pie Crust Dough
Makes enough dough for two 8-inch pies.
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces of cold butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water
Put all the ingredients except for the water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend until the butter is incorporated. When the dough just begins to come together, keep the mixer running and quickly pour in the ice water. Mix until the dough is blended. Divide the dough into two balls, flatten them into disks, and wrap them in wax paper and plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.