Mrs Watson’s Brown Sugar Pie
Here is a recipe for brown sugar pie, another gem from Mrs Watson’s recipe collection. There are many pie recipes in the book I want to try, such as the southern classic chess pie, and the wonderfully named Lulu’s Ky Pie.
I love the idea of using brown sugar as a main ingredient and key flavour, for brown sugar has so much flavour. This is especially true for very good quality brown sugar, such as that from Billington’s. Its flavour is deeper and so much more rich than heavily processed white sugar. I reckon it doesn’t taste quite as sweet either, which is always a good thing. I used dark muscovado sugar, which is the closest thing you are going to get to raw sugar cane. With the vanilla in the filling as well as the dark colour of the sugar you could be mistaken for thinking there was chocolate in the pie. Whipped cream is all you need to serve with this pie, and perhaps a black coffee.
Recipe for Brown Sugar Pie
Ingredients – Serves up to 6 people and fills an 20cm pie dish 5cm deep
For the Pie Crust
200g plain flour
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon icing sugar
1 small egg, beaten
pinch of salt
For the Filling
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
4 tablespoons of double cream
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Rub the butter into the flour until is resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and the salt. Now add the egg and bring it all together to form a smooth dough. The less you work it the softer and flakier it will be so try to only just bring it together and resist playing with it. Flatten it slightly into a 3cm thick dish. Wrap it up in clingfilm and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours. Again the longer you leave it the better it will be.
Take it out of the refrigerator to warm up for 20 – 30 minutes. When the pastry is pliable dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll out the pastry so it is 4 – 5mm thick. Line an 8 inch wide circular tart tin and blind bake the tart shell with baking beans for 20 minutes in a 180˚C oven. Leave some pastry hanging over the edge and you can trim it when it comes out of the oven before it gets the filling. You will have some excess pastry when you roll it out.
When the tart shell is baking mix the ingredients together for the filling. Remove the baking paper and baking beans, trim the edges with a knife to make it neat, and fill the tart shell with the filling. Turn the oven down to 160˚C. Bake the pie until the filling has just set, which takes roughly 1 hour. The filling should be just quaking when you lift it out. Be careful when putting it into the oven so it doesn’t spill over the sides. Leave to cool completely before eating. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.