Tarte Au Sucre, Take 2

Tarte au Sucre

A couple of months ago we had a Foodists Montréal movie night. Even though I was told we had loads of desert, being a sugar addict I just had to add to the sweets being offered, as for a while I’ve been wanting to make a traditional Québecois sugar pie, a tarte au sucre. I searched around for a few recipes and made one that used heavy cream, eggs and brown sugar. However I was not pleased with the consistency and the center seemed to be a bit runny so I decided to look around for a different recipe. For new years day dinner I tried the version below:

1 unbaked pie shell (I used a pate brisée, recipe below)
6 T flour
2 c packed brown sugar (or 1c brown, 1c maple sugar)
1.5 c evaporated milk (I used 1 can of carnation)
4 T butter
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 400. Combine flour, sugar, stir in milk, butter, salt and vanilla. Cook stirring constantly until mix comes to a boil. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 400 for five minutes, reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 25 minutes.

After having to cook this for another 10 minutes until the center was set, I decided that the better option was to cook 10 minutes at 400, then lower to 350 for the additional time.

This version was super tasty but sickly and richly sweet, so a small wedge will do and it’s fantastic with a dark coffee. While searching the internet for recipes I saw this pie served with ice cream as well as swimming in a plate of heavy cream.

Pate Brisée

Reading through my mom’s latest version of The Joy of Cooking I found a bit of a variation on the traditional pate brisée recipe. Traditionally made with all butter they suggested adding a small bit of shortening to make it slightly flakier. It worked and I found it made the dough slightly more malleable and didn’t interfere with the buttery taste.

2.5 cups of all purpose flour
1 t white sugar or 1 T powdered sugar
1 t salt
1/2 pound of unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup plus 1 T ice water

Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs then cut in vegetable shortening. Drizzly the water over the mixture forms small balls. Press down on dough, if balls of dough stick together you have added enough water. Divide in half, press each into a flat disk and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, but preferable for a few hours. Can be kept frozen for six months. This makes enough dough for two pies, or one covered pie.


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