Sugar pie (sometimes called sugar cream pie) tastes like crème brûlée in pie format. It’s rich and decadent and the filling requires just six ingredients (sugar, butter, half and half, vanilla, nutmeg, and cornstarch). Tasting sugar pie, you might assume that it is loaded with eggs like a traditional custard – but it’s the cornstarch that gives this dessert its thick texture. I’m a sucker for cheesy romantic plans and I love the idea of serving sugar pie to my sugar pie on Valentine’s Day.
Sugar pie is typically served with a basic butter crust. However, I think everything is better with shortbread so I baked mine with a shortbread crust and only put the crust on the bottom of the pie (not up the sides).
Skillet Sugar Pie Recipe
The sugar pie filling recipe that I used for my skillet sugar pie is from AllRecipes. I’ve rewitten those directions below in my own words and included instructions for baking the pies in skillets with shortbread crust.
Skillet Sugar Pie
Shortbread Crust Ingredients
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- heaping 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Sugar Pie Filling Ingredients
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 cups half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Shortbread Crust Instructions
Mix all shortbread crust ingredients by hand in a small mixing bowl until they just begin to stick together.
Grease two 5" skillets and press shortbread crust into the bottom of each skillet.
Sugar Pie Filling Instructions
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter on medium heat.
Once butter is melted, add cornstarch, sugar, and half and half.
Stir constantly until the mixture begins to boil and becomes thick and creamy. This should take about five minutes. You'll know it's ready as there will be a dramatic shift from a soupy liquid to something porridge-like.
Remove from heat and mix in vanilla.
Assembly and Baking Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Distribute filling evenly over shortbread crusts in the two prepared skillets.
Sprinkle nutmeg over the filling.
Bake for 40 minutes or until tops are set. The filling will still be a little jiggly, but it won't move very much if you shake the skillet.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Serve cold straight from the skillet or cut into slices.
You can easily vary this recipe by using a traditional pie pan, larger skillet, or square baking dish. You can also replace the nutmeg with cinnamon or a mix of the two. Lastly, you may choose to use a more traditional pie crust or leave the pie crust off entirely.