Hoosier Pie is also known as sugar cream pie, and it’s the most delicious pie recipe to try this year!
This pie has a creamy, buttery texture. It’s not as soft as a cream pie, rather it’s somewhere in the middle between a cream pie and a custard pie. I love the sweet vanilla flavor of the pie with the hint of nutmeg sprinkled on top.
Hoosier Pie is what is known as a “regional pie.” America’s Test Kitchen shares that it was a pie born in Indiana as a “desperation dessert” in the 1800’s when fresh fruit was scarce and eggs weren’t always easy to come by. In winter months, home cooks turned to the basics- sugar, cream, flour and spices like nutmeg.
I bought quite a few pie recipe books this year that I’m sourcing for my pie baking frenzy this year. This pie cookbook is my absolute favorite, and it’s by far the most useful. It was written by the experts at America’s Test Kitchen: The Perfect Pie- Your Ultimate Guide to Classic and Modern Pies, Tarts, Galettes and More. In general, I really love to try recipes from America’s Test Kitchen because I know they have such a rigorous testing process. The resulting recipes are always pretty foolproof and good! You kind of want that precision when you’re baking. I have The Perfect Cookie book by ATK as well, and I’ve been super happy with that one too.
This book has plenty of crust recipes with very good instructions, and a section for sauces and toppings too. There are chapters for custard, cream and curd pies, tarts, slab pies and small pies, regional pies and frozen pies. There is also a chapter for more unique varieties of pie.
I’ve only tried the Hoosier Pie and one other (soon to be shared) from the book, but here are several others that are on my pie-baking bucket list: Sweet Cherry Pie, Vanilla Cream Pie, Butterscotch Cream Pie, Passion Fruit Curd Pie, Peanut Butter & Concord Grape Pie, Plum-Ginger Pie, Easy Pear Tarte Tatin, Linzertorte, Peach Slab Pie, Caramel Apple Hand Pies, Apple Butter Pie Pops, Nutella Tartlets, Maple Syrup Pie, Fudgy Tar Heel Pie, Oregon Blackberry Pie and Caramel Turtle Icebox Pie. There really are so many more pie recipes that are worthy of naming, but you’ll just have to get to book and check it out. Trust me on this one… The Perfect Pie is a must-add to your cookbook shelf if you love to bake.
In the cookbook mentioned above, there are plenty of pie crust recipes you can use for this recipe. I opted to use the Foolproof Pie Dough recipe from Cooks Illustrated (same company as ATK) because I’d been wanting to try it. There is quite a process for making the foolproof crust (shared in the recipe at the end of this post), and it contains vodka (which many people swear by when making pie crust). I suggest you try it. It really did turn out perfect, and the pie dough was easy to work with. I followed the directions to a “T,” and all was good.
You can certainly use your own pie crust recipe, or you can use a store-bought pie crust for Hoosier Pie too. The filling of this pie is super easy to make (on the stovetop), so you’ll just bake the crust separately and then put the cooked filling in the baked crust and refrigerate until serving.
Although Hoosier Pie has a creamy, custard-like texture, it’s a very sliceable pie. You’ll get clean slices out of it, and you’ll still get that wonderful, creamy texture.
Although original Hoosier Pie recipes called for using flour in the filling, America’s Test Kitchen uses cornstarch instead of flour. They tested this pie filling many different ways, and they found that cornstarch helped produce the best texture.
Since I’ve been doing a lot of pie recipe testing this year, I served this one at Thanksgiving (along with six other pies). Hoosier Pie was the hands-down favorite of the 10 people trying my pies. Everyone loved the flavor of this pie, and no one had tried it or even heard of it before. It was a delightful new pie variety discovery.
You can freeze this pie without any problems! I stored it in the freezer for two weeks before serving. Just wrap with plastic wrap, and let defrost in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
My sweet dog Tessie is loving all of my pie baking. She waits at the counter faithfully… hoping I’ll drop something that she can eat! I hope you’ll try this pie. It’s a great Christmas pie with that hint of nutmeg flavor, but it’s such a delicious pie that I’d bake it any time of year. Enjoy!