Old-Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie — This sugar cream pie reminds me a bit of crème brûlée! The filling is custard-like, and when topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon it’s irresistible!
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Easy Sugar Cream Pie Recipe
A few years ago I made Crack Pie. I didn’t name it, it’s the famous Momofuku Milkbar pie recipe and it’s one of the most popular recipes on my site. It’s an absolutely amazing pie but it’s very cumbersome and time-consuming to make, and it’s not my style to spend forever and a day on one dessert.
Enter: this sugar cream pie. AKA Hoosier sugar cream pie or Indiana sugar cream pie — Midwest baking at its finest!
It’s incredibly easy and you don’t need a mixer. I used a store-bought pie crust because pie crust-making is not my forte, but if it’s yours, make your favorite scratch crust. I have a fabulous All-Butter Pie Crust that will work beautifully.
After baking the crust for 10 minutes, whisk together the filling on the stove, pour it into the crust, bake for 10 more minutes, and chill the pie.
Plan ahead because the pie needs to chill overnight or at least many hours. Thanks to cornstarch in the filling, you won’t run the risk of the pie not setting up.
You’ll have extra filling, which is great eaten as pudding. Or if you’re a pie pro, you could make another smaller pie or tart (probably about 6 inches). My daughter happily ate the extra filling as pudding and took the extra off my hands.
Sugar Cream Pie Ingredients
For the easy sugar pie filling and crust, you’ll need:
- 9-inch deep dish pie crust
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Unsalted butter
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Sugar Cream Pie
This recipe for sugar cream pie is very simple and is very similar to the classic, old-fashioned version. No-frills, no special ingredients, and the filling comes together so quickly!
- Place the pie crust into your pie plate and prick with a fork multiple times before baking until golden around the edges.
- While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Add the milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt to a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook over medium-low heat until bubbling and thickened.
- Add the butter to the milk mixture and whisk to combine.
- Once the filling is complete, pour into the pie crust and return the sugar cream pie to the oven.
- Bake until the edges are gently bubbling.
- Let the sugar cream pie cool on a wire rack for an hour before refrigerating it for 8 hours to set completely.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
The filling tastes a lot like Crack Pie, minus the extreme amount of work. It’s sweet, creamy, and the texture is custard-like. It reminds me of Crème Brûlée!
I’m not sure. There may be something with either the dairy milk proteins and/or the amount of fat in the dairy milk that ensures the pie will set up.
No, the cornstarch is a must in this sugar cream pie recipe. If you omit it, I’m not sure the filling will set up.
If kept in the fridge in a sealed container, this sugar pie will last up to a week.
Yes! Since it’s a custard filling, the pie must be chilled after cooling to room temperature on your counter.
Tips for Making Sugar Cream Pie
It’s important that you prick the pie crust multiple times before baking it. If you skip this step, you might wind up with air bubbles in your crust, which you definitely don’t want.
Also note that whole milk is a must in this recipe. This is not the time to be healthy and use skim milk — your sugar cream pie won’t set up properly if you use skim milk.
Finally, you MUST let the sugar pie cool completely in the fridge. It needs time to set up fully. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
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Sugar Cream Pie
- one 9-inch, 4-cup volume deep-dish pie shell, thawed completely (or substitute with your favorite homemade buttery pie crust) and blind-baked
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
- cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 400F. Prick refrigerated pie crust in many places with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes directly on the oven rack, or until lightly golden browned around the edges; set aside to cool. Or you can make your favorite scratch pie crust such as my All-Butter Pie Crust. While crust bakes, prepare the filling.
- To a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, and whisk to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until bubbling and thickened. Whisk nearly continuously throughout the cooking process, and near the end when the filling is getting thicker, whisk continuously to avoid the filling from browning at the bottom of the saucepan.
- Add the butter, whisk to combine until melted, and allow filling to boil for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add filling to pie crust, noting you will have about extra (I had about 1 1/2 cups extra). It’s great warm, chilled as pudding, or you can experiment by making another smaller pie or tart.
- Reduce oven temp to 350F.
- Place pie tin on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until bubbling gently near the edge.
- Carefully place pie on a wire rack to cool for about 1 hour. Cover with foil and refrigerate for about 8 hours, or until pie is chilled and set.
- Evenly sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. Pie will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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Originally published August 5, 2016 and republished October 20, 2023 with updated text.