Give Mama Some Sugar … Sugar Cream Pie – Indiana

Indiana is pie country and Hoosiers are serious about their pastry. In 2009, the Indiana legislature declared sugar cream pie — also called Hoosier pie — as the official state pie of Indiana. Pies of this type, also known as desperation pies, were created when folks had to make do with whatever ingredients they had on hand. This delicious Sugar Cream Piecustardy concoction of very unpretentious ingredients probably dates back to the 1850s and might have the Amish or Quakers to thank. Both groups historically have had strong representation in the state. Even today, Indiana has the world’s third largest population for Amish. Lots of variations of this pie exist, but we liked this recipe as the filling stays firm and tends not to weep. Yup, sometimes simple is best.

Wick’s Pies in tiny Winchester, Indiana, has a world famous sugar cream pie. Also consider a visit to Clifty Falls State Park where the Clifty Inn’s sugar cream pie was voted one of the top 10 pies in the state.


Indiana Sugar Cream Pie


For crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground nutmeg, dash
  • Ground cinnamon, dash


For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Gently lift into a 9 inch pie plate. Crimp edge. Place in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until crust turns light golden color.

For filling: In saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour until blended. Add half and half and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, add vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell. Sprinkle top with the nutmeg and cinnamon. Place in 400 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is set.