Sugar Pie

For Quebecers, sugar pie, or tarte au sucre, is synonymous with Christmas indulgence. Brought to Quebec by French immigrants, this sweet pie combines brown sugar and maple syrup, a sugar combo that slowly caramelizes while baking, creating a light crunchy top and a custard-like silky interior.

Sugar Pie
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
  • Butter Piecrust (recipe follows)
  • 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll Butter Piecrust to ¼-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  3. Top dough with a piece of parchment paper, letting ends extend over edges of plate. Add pie weights.
  4. Bake until edges are set, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights. Bake until bottom of crust is set, about 2 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, flour, egg yolks, and egg until smooth.
  6. In a small saucepan, bring cream and butter to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot cream mixture into sugar mixture. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Pour filling into prepared crust. Loosely cover with foil.
  7. Bake in bottom third of oven until crust is golden brown and filling is set (center should still jiggle slightly), 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Butter Piecrust
  • 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup (120 grams) ice water
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Add ice water, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) at a time, just until dough comes together (you may not need all of the water). Shape dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.


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