I Love Desserts

Brown Sugar Pie

Makes 6 Servings


My sister, Helen, sent me this recipe, which she said Aunt Agnes passed on to her years ago. And since I like to "top off" pies, I scattered the almost-baked pie with a coating of lightly toasted almonds tossed with butter and sugar. I baked the pie for a few more minutes, just until the sugar melted and glazed the almonds.


1 fully baked single 9-inch Basic Piecrust
     (see page 113 of the book)
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus
     1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, or to taste
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fine-grained cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/4 teaspoon vinegar or cream of tartar
1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons brown sugar, preferably brown
     crystallized sugar (see Dark and Sweet, page 25 of the book)


Set aside the piecrust to cool.

Carefully crack the eggs one at a time and place the yolk and the egg white into two separate small bowls, making sure that not one speck of egg yolk is mixed in with the egg white. If the egg white is free of yolk, transfer to a large spotless clean bowl for whipping or to the bowl of a standing mixer. If the egg yolk drips into the egg white, discard that egg white, and break another egg, using a clean bowl. Set aside the egg whites to warm to room temperature and return the yolks to the refrigerator (see Get the Whip, page 132 of the book).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the softened butter and heavy cream or half-and-half in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring, for a few minutes over low heat, just until the butter melts and the cream is warm. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla extract, and nutmeg and mix until just blended. Set aside.

Transfer the egg yolks to a large mixing bowl and beat briskly for a few seconds with a wire whisk. Add both sugars, the flour, and the cornmeal and whisk again. Pour the warm cream mixture over the egg yolk and sugar mixture, and beat briskly until smooth. Set aside.

Sprinkle the vinegar or cream of tartar over the egg whites. Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat the whites on medium-high speed just until they hold slight peaks. Stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the filling and mix well. Fold in the remaining egg whites, and mix gently but thoroughly until blended. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.

Cover the edges of the crust with strips of foil to prevent overbrowning. Set the pie on the lower shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until puffy and golden.

Stir together the almonds, melted butter, and sugar. Spread the mixture over the top of the pie.

Bake the pie 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

Remove the pie from the oven, set on a wire rack, and cool completely before serving.


Buy the Book!


Brown Sugar
Soul Food Desserts from Family and Friends
by Joyce White
HarperCollins Publishers
Hardcover: 320 pages, $24.95; $38.95 (CAN)
ISBN: 0066209730
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Brown Sugar



This page created March 2003