Back when I was in culinary school, one of the first lab classes I took was American Regional Cuisine (ahh…memories). Each week we made a meal based on the area of the country we were studying, and it was an interesting class for me because I was unfamiliar with many of the dishes. When we got to Cuisine of the South, there were lots of new dishes for me (Hush Puppies? Hoppin’ John Salad? Shrimp Perloo?). Some items I had known and loved, especially the desserts (we’re not surprised there), but had never made. I thought of this class recently because my favorite show, Outlander, is back from hiatus (or “Droughtlander” as us fans call it…we’re a humorous bunch), and this year it’s set in Colonial North Carolina. I’ve mentioned before that I write a blog post on the Outlander Cast fan site called How they made it discussing the food and drink of the Outlander timeframes. Since the show setting is now the New World of the 1760s, I’ve been looking at recipes from the South that would fit in that time to write about for Outlander Cast. That’s how I discovered another unfamiliar but wonderfully easy and delicious pie, and I wanted to share it here…Dear Reader, let me present Southern Brown Sugar Pie!
Kind of like a cross between Butterscotch Pie and Pecan Pie (minus the pecans), Southern Brown Sugar Pie is very quick to throw together…only five ingredients! (Well, eight if you’re making the pie crust, which I usually do. Don’t be picky.) Served with fresh whipped cream, this pie really is a crowd pleaser, especially since most people (in my acquaintance, at least) haven’t had it before. I highly recommend you give it a go!
Southern Brown Sugar Pie
Adapted from Pizzerie.com
- 16 oz light brown sugar, breaking up any lumps (use your fingers, a fork, or both…actually it’s kind of fun!)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 9-inch pie crusts or 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust (I like my all-butter pie crust recipe, but you can use a homemade or store-bought shell, your choice)
- Optional: fresh whipped cream or ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll out the pie dough, then ease into the pie pan(s).
- Whisk together the eggs, then add in the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla, stirring until well combined and smooth. Pour the batter into the pie pan.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Check to see that pie is baked through (it will be gooey but it should be set). If you’re making a 6-inch pie (see Recipe Notes below), reduce the baking time to 30-40 minutes. If you make one deep dish (instead of two regular pies), then increase baking time slightly.
- Allow pie to cool on a cooling rack, then refrigerate to set up further.
- An hour before serving, take the pie from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (not strictly necessary, but that’s how I like it). Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
- You may need to put aluminum foil around pie crust edges about halfway through the cooking time to prevent them from getting too brown
- Prepare 1/2 the recipe (using just 1 egg) when making the pie in a 6-inch pie pan
- Prepare 1/2 the recipe (using 2 eggs) when making one pie in a 9-inch pie pan
I scaled this recipe down to make one 9-inch pie or one 6-inch pie instead of making two pies (not that haven’t an extra is a bad thing, mind you), and it worked just fine…just adjust the baking time accordingly. One idea I have (but haven’t tried…yet) is to reduce the vanilla to 1 tsp and add 1 Tbsp of bourbon instead (you know me…I add spirits in wherever I can!). If you decide to try the spirited version, please let me know how it goes.
I served my Southern Brown Sugar Pie at the Outlander Season 4 premiere party I attended on Sunday with lightly sweetened whipped cream and a wee dram of The Balvenie Doublewood 12 year old. Heavenly! What a great way to end Droughtlander…with friends, good food, good scotch, and great TV!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
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