Sugar Cream Pie


In the 1970s, my young daughters and I loved a Sugar Cream pie that we could buy frozen at our local grocer.  As the years went by, the pie disappeared from the grocery store and several of my attempts to duplicate it failed.  Then in the 1980s, I adapted several recipes to come up with one that I thought was very close to our old favorite and it won a ribbon at the Ohio State Fair.  I made it again for the two daughters for this week’s Sunday dinner.


  • 1 cup whipping cream (1/2 pt.)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 Tblsp. butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 9” unbaked pie shell*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Place a piece of foil or parchment paper in the unbaked pie shell and pour in 2 cups of dry beans.  Bake @ 375 degrees F for 10 minutes to “blind bake”.  Remove foil and beans and let pie set on rack while preparing the filling.  Note:  I keep dry beans in a jar to use in blind-baking pie crust.  The beans can be used over and over again to blind bake, but don’t cook them for other uses.

Combine one cup whipping cream, sugar, flour, salt in medium bowl – whisk until smooth.

Whisk in half-and-half gradually, add melted butter and nutmeg.  Pour into blind-baked pie shell.

Bake @ 375 degrees F approximately 45 minutes.  Pie is done when knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.  Good at room temperature or chilled.  Chill leftovers.

6 servings 

*Click here for my favorite pie crust

The Best of 2010

It’s been another fun year of blogging and on this last day of 2010, I revisited the 10 most popular of the past year’s posts.

Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt

Round Patchwork Tablecloth

The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford Dessert

Irish Lemon Blackberry Sponge Pudding

Pork-Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole

Peach Crumble Pie

Creamy Ham Tetrazzini

Vintage Hanky Heart Pillow

Light Pineapple Cheesecake

Tasty Gingerbread Muffins

Happy New Year to All!

Alabama Peanut Butter Pie

Since my daughters just got back from vacation yesterday, I offered to host the Father’s Day dinner today for my son-in-law.  I made a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, carrots, corn and homemade rolls.

My son-in-law and grandson will eat no kind of pie except apple, so I made one for them to share .

Granddaughter Dolphin doesn’t eat pie at all…

…but the two daughters and I never met a pie we didn’t like.  One of our favorites is Alabama Peanut Butter Pie, which I started making in 1976 from a cookbook called Garden Club Desserts. It’s not difficult but a little time consuming.  We think it’s worth it.


  • Baked 9″ pie shell (see my favorite pie crust recipe here)

Base and topping:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tblsp. butter


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 6 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

To Make the Base and Topping: Mix confectioners’ sugar with peanut butter to form crumbs.  Spread half of the mixture in the bottom of the baked pie shell.  Reserve the other half for the topping.

To Make the Filling: In a medium size saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt.  Add the egg yolks, mixing well, then add the cup of cold milk.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk in hot milk.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes.   Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Let cool slightly while preparing the meringue.

To Make the Meringue: In a large mixer bowl with wire beater, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until whites begin to thicken.  Add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff and glossy.  Stir in vanilla.

Spoon the hot filling on top of the crumb base in the baked shell.

Spread the meringue on top of the filling, extending the meringue to the crust to seal.

Set the pie on a flat sheet to catch crumbs, and sprinkle the peanut butter mixture on top.

Bake @ 325 degrees for 10 minutes to brown meringue.  Cool on wire rack. 

This pie is very rich and very delicious.

On this Father’s Day, remembering my father who died on June 20, 1978 at the age of 66.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

In the World War II days when gas was rationed, cars were kept running many times by wishful thinking, and the drive from Cincinnati to Dayton, Ohio, was a two-hour journey over country roads, our family made the trip several times a year to visit my paternal grandmother.  My little sister and I called her “Grandma-up-Dayton” and looked forward to leaving our inner city apartment behind and spending some time in rural Vandalia, just outside of Dayton.  I have a feeling our visits were unplanned most of the time with my father coming home from work on a Friday and suggesting we run up and see his mother.  I can still see Grandma standing at the door of her little house, wearing a dark dress and white apron, peering out into the twilight to see who had pulled onto her property on a secluded country road.  As we got out of the car, she would smile broadly and say, “Oh, it’s Johnny!”, acknowleging in that exclamation that it was Johnny, his wife and two little girls.

Many times as we came into the house she would say that she had just made a few chocolate pies.  She worked as a cook in a high school cafeteria during the day and came home at night to bake a few treats.

Cooking at all wasn’t easy in her small kitchen.  There was a large table, some chairs, some cabinets against the wall and a coal/wood burning kitchen stove.  Grandma must have had an ice box of some kind, but I don’t remember seeing it.  There was an outside door that led to a slope and the water pump.  On a stool by the door was an enamel washpan and towel so we could wash up in stone-cold water after making the long trek down the slope and on down the path to the outhouse.   There was a 3-foot tall metal lard can in the kitchen which I used as my chair when I was there.  There was a small window near the stove and tin cans were tossed out and onto a dump in back of the house.  No actual garbage was thrown away – scraps were given to the chickens – so the dump wasn’t really dirty.  Sometimes my little sister and I would wander around through the dump looking for different can labels and seeing brands that we didn’t get in Cincinnati.  We had to be careful – the real danger was in picking up a can with the rough sawtooth edge that the old can openers used to make.

There was various framed artwork on the kitchen wall, but the one I always loved was one in sepia tone of chubby pigs leaning on a fence with a frame that had tiny metal pigs running along the bottom.  At some point Grandma gave me the picture and I had it hanging in my dining room for a good while.  Finally, the frame came apart and the picture was damaged, but I still have it and enjoy seeing those cheerful little pig faces.

Grandma always had cream on hand to whip and add to the big slices of pie which already had a 2″ layer of meringue.  She was an excellent cook and to taste a freshly-made chocolate pie in that little country kitchen is a lasting memory.

I don’t have the recipe for Grandma’s pie but my version won a ribbon at the Ohio State Fair in 1987.


  • 9″ baked pie shell (see here for recipe)
  • Two one-oz squares of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1-1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar (for meringue)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla (for meringue)
  • 6 Tblsp. sugar (for meringue)


Combine chocolate and ONE CUP OF MILK in 2 qt. heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted.  Stir in brown sugar.

Combine REMAINING MILK with flour in a small cup, mixing until smooth.  Gradually stir the milk/flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Beat 3 egg yolks slightly, stir a little of the hot mixture into the yolks, blending well.  Stir yolk mixture into hot mixture.  Cook over LOW heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Turn into baked shell.  Cover with meringue and brown in 325 degree F oven for approximately 10 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.


Beat 3 egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form.  Add sugar, a small amount at a time, and continue beating until mixture forms stiff peaks but is not dry.  Spread on top of pie, sealing to edge of pastry. 

We usually just stayed overnight and headed back home the next day.  My father was always irritated that Grandma loaded up our car with food but Mother was so grateful for the canned blackberry jam, produce and boxes of candy bars bought at the school kitchen.  I remember one time Grandma sneaked in a full chocolate meringue pie for our trip back home.  Along the way, one of our tires went flat and since my father was never prepared with a spare, my mother, sister and I waited for an hour or so in the car along the side of the road for him to come back with the patched tire.  We were getting hungry and here was this beautiful pie, but we didn’t have a knife to cut it.  Then, my mother thought of the car key, wiped it off carefully and used it to slice up the pie to eat out of hand.  Nothing ever tasted better.  My oldest daughter was always intrigued by this story and wrote her own blog version of it.

I inherited my grandma’s love of cooking and baking pies is one of my favorite pasttimes.

choc pie-2

A Perfect Day for Pumpkin Pie



This September Sunday morning is cool, crisp and autumn-like with trees starting to show color and fall decorations beginning to appear on front doors.  It’s a perfect day for pumpkin pie.  My recipe is pretty much standard except for a few variations in spices.  I heard Garrison Keillor quote one of his radio characters, saying,  “The best pumpkin pie you ever tasted isn’t that much better than the worst,” but I don’t agree.  Homemade pumpkin pies are really good and a super-easy pie to make.  I prefer to make my pie crust but certainly frozen ones are available.


2 eggs

15 oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin filling)

½ cup plus 2 Tblsp brown sugar

½ cup plus 2 Tblsp granulated sugar

½ tsp salt

1-1/2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ginger

12 oz. of evaporated milk

One 9″ unbaked pie shell (any smaller and the pie will overflow)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell.  (It works better to have the pie plate on a larger flat pan or cookie sheet to catch spills.)  Place pie in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes.  The pie is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Yield:  One very good 9″ pie