Tea time

Sugar pie from my grandmother

This dessert was by far my favorite when I was a child. It comes from my grandmother and she used to do it for my birthday.

Sugar pie comes from the North of France. But this recipe is slightly different from the ones they do there. It’s not a “North” sugar pie. It’s the sugar pie from my Grand-mother. She doesn’t come from the North, she comes from Alsace, a region located in the East of France where they don’t do Sugar pie at all… Why this recipe was THE recipe of my grandmother will remain forever a kept secret. Nobody knows and I didn’t ask her when she was still alive.

I neither didn’t ask her the recipe when she was still alive. She used to do it “with her eyes” and never left me any instruction regarding the quantities of each ingredient. I called my aunt which indicated me that we should use a “Kuglof” dough, the most typical pastry from Alsace. It’s a kind of brioche for Sunday.

In order to retrace the recipe I used my memory and my intuition… It won’t be as good as the pie of my grand mother for sure, how could it be? But it will be made with love and love is the most important ingredient in France.

French sugar pie recipe from my grandmother

For one pie


  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Rest time: 3 hours
  • Baking time: 35 minutes
  • Total time: 3h50


For the dough:

  • 7 oz wheat flour (200g)
  • 0.8 oz caster sugar (23g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 0.35 oz baker’s yeast (10g)
  • 2 small eggs (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk at about 80°F (25-30°C)
  • 3 oz butter (unsalted) + butter for the mould. It should be at room temperature and cut into slices (80g). Can be more or less butter (2 to 4 oz) depending on the taste you want to get…

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup whole double cream (12.5 cl)
  • 2.80 oz brown sugar – (80g). Personally I use very dark sugar (muscovado sugar) because I like very much its taste.
  • Optional: cinnamon (about 1 tablespoon)


  • In a bowl: mix together the yest and the milk. Then combine with 2.3 oz (67g) of flour.
  • Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave it for one or two hours in a “warm” area of your house. 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30°C) is the target. You can leave the bowl near a radiator for instance. If you have no other option leave it a room temperature.
  • Then add the sugar, salt, beaten eggs and the remaining flour.
  • Knead the dough during 10 minutes. She mustn’t adhere to the bowl (it should be like a bread dow). Add the butter and mix together.
  • Cover the bowl with a humid kitchen towel for two hours in a “warm” location (77 to 86°F or 25-30°C). The dough should double in size.
  • Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C)
  • Take the rolling pin to  flatten the dough.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes and remove form oven. Leave the oven heat.
  • Mix together dark sugar with cream and cinnamon and add this mixture to the top of the pie.
  • Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve room temperature or barely warm.
  • Enjoy!
sugar pie.

3 thoughts on “Sugar pie from my grandmother

  1. The best recipes are those that are passed down the family. My mother cooks by instinct. I had to sit at her kitchen table with a notepad and pen and write things down.
    That’s a lovely looking recipe. I’d like to try it out. Just a couple of questions. Usually when using yeast, you get it started with warm liquid. Are you sure that room temperature will work? How long before you add the flour? Last question – I’ve never baked with cream. What sort of consistency should I expect? ?

  2. Yes for sure it’s better if the milk is at about 86•F but I prefer to write room temperature to avoid excessive temperature that would ruin the yeast…
    The flour can be added just when the yeast is well mixed into the milk.
    Difficult to answer to your last question. I will try to send a picture….

  3. I will do the recipe during the week-end and take a picture…
    You can also add cinnamon to the topping before cooking. It’s also very good with it.

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