How was your Christmas this year? Ours was pretty awesome.
Bean enjoyed herself, though I'm not sure that she knew that day was any more special than any other day.
"Oh! Is this mine now? Of course it is. Just like every other thing that exists in this house."
We did have 10 people gathered around our kitchen table later that afternoon. That was a little abnormal for us.
Folks brought their A-game dishes, and we made a crown roast of pork. Which is definitely going to happen again. Probably too soon.
But now we're getting ready for New Years.
Most of us have already been cooking our brains out for the last two months and don't have much left in the old recipe file. Or in the I-have-the-time-and-desire-to-spend-hours-in-front-of-the-stove file.
This is the best pie ever. It takes no time at all, and is impressive and tasty. Win. Perfect for a classy New Year's party!
It's an old recipe, which means there are several variations. This pie hails from the great state of Indiana, and has been called a Hoosier pie, an Amish Cream pie, and many other things. My mom's family (Hoosiers for many generations) call it a Durbin Inn Sugar Cream pie.
The story goes that there was this guy called Wendell Willkie who made a surprise run for President, and named the Durbin Inn in Rushville, Indiana, as his campaign headquarters. Because he wanted to be close to this pie. It would be like the Obama campaign running out of Lou Malnotti's. Fantastic.
In any case, let me show you how we make this pie.
In a large pot goes sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Whisk it up.
Add butter and half & half. Toss in the scrapings of half a vanilla bean.
Cook until boiling and thick. Whisking CONSTANTLY. Do not step away.
Pour into a baked 9" pie shell.
Top with a slight dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Slice and serve with hot fudge sauce. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'd definitely consider this pie a potential running mate if I ever ran for president!
Sugar Cream Pie
Recipe from the Hoosier Heartland
1 - 9" baked pie crust
1 c sugar
1/4 c plus 1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
2 5/8 c half & half
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
Sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together salt, sugar, and cornstarch. Add the butter, vanilla bean scrapings, and half & half. Turn on medium heat and whisk constantly until it boils. Remove from heat. Pour into pie crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Let cool and refrigerate.
If using vanilla extract, add it after the mixture boils, when you remove the pot from the heat. Then continue as above.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Absconded from my mother's recipe box
3/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 72% dark cocoa squares from Ghiradelli)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
In a small saucepan combine heavy cream and sugar. Cook on low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add chocolate and stir till melted. Add butter and syrup. Stir until butter melts.
Makes approx. 1 1/2 c and will keep in the fridge for several days. If you can keep yourself from eating a spoonful every time you open the fridge door.