Southern Brown Sugar Pie is easy to make (only 5 ingredients!), richly flavored, and pleasingly sweet. It's a real crowd pleaser!
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 desserts like Pecan Pralines, 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 season the show is set in Colonial North Carolina.
I write a column on the OutlanderCast.com fan site called How they made it discussing the food and drink of the Outlander timeframes. Since the show setting is now in 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 that column.
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!
What is Brown Sugar Pie?
Well, eight if you're making the pie crust, which I usually do. Don't be picky.
Speaking of pie crust, I use my all-butter pie crust recipe with the 9-6-3 recipe ratio. You, of course, can use your favorite homemade or store-bought shell. I promise I won't take it personally.
Just mix and pour
Making the pie is as simple as mixing all the filling ingredients and pouring it into an unbaked pie shell. And boy, does the house smell good while it's baking!
The filling does puff up during baking, but settles down nicely once cooled. Plus the top becomes crispy and craggly from the melted brown sugar. Yum!
Scale the Brown Sugar Pie recipe up or down
If you want a deep dish or two 9-inch pies, just double the recipe (except use 3 eggs) and just adjust the baking time accordingly.
I've even converted the recipe into Brown Sugar Pie Bars, a fun twist for pie in bar form. They're portion-controlled bits of pie goodness you can hold in your hand.
One idea I have (but haven’t tried…yet) is to reduce or omit the vanilla and add a tablespoon or two of bourbon. I add spirits in wherever I can!
Served with fresh whipped cream, Brown Sugar 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!
I served my Brown Sugar Pie at the Outlander Season 4 premiere party I attended 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!
Recipes for pie
Pies can be sweet or savory, and there are so many fillings. From fruits to nuts and custards, there's bound to be a pie that catches your fancy!
- Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Shoofly Pie (Molasses Pie)
- Butterscotch Pie for Two
- Southern Brown Sugar Pie
- Chocolate Cream Pie for Two - with a no-bake option
- Treacle Tarts for Two
- Quick Mini Chocolate Raspberry Jam Tarts
- Apple Galette in Phyllo Dough
- Moroccan Beef Pie
- Mini Skillet Mixed Berry Crisp (Dairy Free) - with a cooked fruit filling and a buttery, crunchy topping, fruit crisps count as pies in my book!
- Old Fashioned Apple Crisp (Apple Crumble)
- Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake - while technically not a pie, cheesecakes are generally baked in a pie crust. 'Nuff said.
- White Wine Cheesecake
Recipes for pie crust & more
Need a base for a recipe? No problem! Here are recipes for pie crusts, graham cracker crusts, tart shells, and shortbread. Plus how to make a lattice pie crust!
- No Recipe Pie Crust - Can't beat a basic pie crust recipe, especially if it's easy to remember
- Classic Graham Cracker Crust - A popular choice for cheesecakes
- How to make Chocolate Cookie Crumbs - Use this quick recipe to make the base for this variation on the Graham Cracker Crust
- Basic Shortcrust Pastry - Pie crust enriched with egg, sturdy short crust pastry is perfect for tart shells
- Sourdough Shortcrust Pastry - Use this flavorful crust for savory pies & tarts, and it's a great way to use sourdough starter discard
- Homemade Shortbread Cookies - Many a bar cookie starts with a shortbread crust
- How to make a Lattice Pie Crust - Want to learn how to weave a lattice crust? I've got you!
Southern Brown Sugar Pie
For the crust
- 1 single pie crust, homemade or store bought, see Recipe Notes (7½ oz, 213g)
For the filling
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, see Recipe Notes
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (2 oz, 56g)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare the crust: Roll out the pie dough, then ease into a 9-inch pie pan.
- Make the filling: While the crust is baking, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla; whisk together until the filling is well combined and smooth.
- Pour filling into prepared crust.
- Bake the pie for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Check to see that the pie is baked through...it will be gooey but should be set.
- 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.