Home Cooking: French Canadian Tarte au Sucre


The invitation from friends was to a Hallowe’en party where French-Canadian treats would be served. What a perfect opportunity to contribute this pie to the proceedings: a little-known French-Canadian traditional dessert, and if you’re scared of sugar, or putting on weight: truly frightening.

From various trips to Quebec, I remember sugar pie as being part of a group of traditional dishes, simple but rich (calories needed for heavy labour, and the cold weather), that included a pork spread, cretons, was a particular favourite of mine (I’ll be making that soon…), tourtière (a pork pastry pie, do you detect a theme?) and poutine (the chips, gravy and cheese curds dish that now seems to be world-famous).

And the review? It needed to be served with the whipped cream I bought to supply contrast to the sugar, and yes, it was so sweet that it gave me a slight buzzing in the middle of my brain. And it was delicious, and rich, and somehow, my rustic pastry (as opposed to thin and delicate) was a good match for the brown sugar filling. Not something to make regularly… but I was glad I made it.

I found this recipe here:

Queen Beatrice’s Tarte au Sucre from Food.com

I had planned to substitute some of the brown sugar for maple syrup… but completely forgot in the end. I used heavy cream instead of the evaporated milk. And following another recipe, I simply melted the butter in the microwave and mixed it in with the liquids rather than the ‘cut into cubes and scatter’ instructions here. For the pie crust, I used a recipe that came with our food processor, which was fine, but I’m still searching for my favourite pie crust recipe… If any of you are inspired to make this, leave a comment telling me how it went!

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