Retro Recipe Challenge #9: Québec’s traditional sugar pie recipe

This challenge called for a recipe with sugar. What better representative for this than my home province’s famed Tarte au sucre. I dug into my oldest cook book (publ. 1955) for this one. Jehane Benoît was Québec’s Julia Child of the mid-1900 to mid 1980’s. She was the dean of Québec cuisine. I inherited this book from my mom and have been carting around since the 80’s. I had never actually done any recipes from it until now. To keep the whole challenge as retro as possible, I also did Mme Benoît’s dough recipe for the crust. This will be a keeper as it turned out to be quite flaky and quick to do. Who knew?!… Here is the translation of both recipes, in the same format as they appear in the book:

Hot Water Pie Dough
1 – Put in a bowl 1/2 cup of fat or vegetable shortening. Add 1/4 cup of boiling water. Beat until creamy
2 – Sift together 1-1/2 cup of pastry flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 – Add liquid ingredients to sifted ingredients. Mix until all form a soft ball. Cover and store in refrigerator 1 hour. Use for any type of dough.
4 – For a richer dough, beat 1 egg with the water and shortening.

Sugar pie recipeSugar Pie
1 – Cover an 8-inch pie plate with dough. Spread with 1/2 inch of brown sugar or maple sugar. Wet with 3 tablespoons of cream or milk; dot with a few small dices of butter.
2 – Cover, to taste, with a few strips of dough and bake in a 400F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

The results (picture below) were quite good, despite my fear that it would taste way too sweet. I have another quick recipe I usually use when making this dessert. It’s more on the caramel-creamy side, compared to this one. It’s one of my stand-bys when invited to dinner, and goes really well “à la mode”.
Sugar pie
Quick Sugar Pie
(Recipe: courtesy of Mme Paquin, Trois-Rivières)
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon flour

Mix ingredients in bowl. Throw in a frozen pie crust and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. It tastes even better cold, the day after. 🙂

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