Baking like our grandmothers: Grandma’s Sugar Pie

Ah! Our grandmother’s recipes… Not easy to duplicate them without their secret techniques which were not always written down. In 2015, tools, ingredients and baking habits have changed so much that a chef is required to reveal the secrets of a family recipe. I have tested for you the first recipe written at a very young age in a notebook that I describe as my « Bible » of the best recipes. The team of Au bout du rang gave me the challenge to discover the secrets of baking a family recipe that I myself had trouble baking with success. In honour of my grandmother Jeannette, 93-year-old, here is a sugar pie that I have ever baked with success up to now. This is a family recipe that I have been unsuccessful to bake time after time.

Here is the recipe as written in her recipe book:

Grandmother’s sugar pie 

2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of heavy cream (35%) 

To add later:
1 can (300ml) of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
½ cup of corn syrup

Boil sugars and cream until a ball is formed in the cold water (225°F).
Remove from heat and gradually add the Eagle Brand and corn syrup.
Cool completely.
This preparation is used in uncooked pie crust.
Bake at 350°F.

Like grandma Jeannette’s sugar pie  

What I realized:

You absolutely need to use a candy thermometer to make this recipe. The old technique of forming a ball in cold water is not precise unless you are a grandmother and you know this technique well.

Candy thermometer 

DO NOT SCRAPE the sides of the pan as the sugar will crystalize. The best way is to use a wet basting brush so that the sugar crystals dissolve during the cooking process.

I made this recipe over two days. You can make your mixture the night before and keep it in the refrigerator for the night. Then cook it the next day.

Refrigerate the pie before eating so that it remains firm.



Mélanie Boucher – Head pastry chef

Head Pastry Chef from Saint-Eustache, trained in restaurant management and in pastry-making at the Institut de tourisme et d’hotellerie du Quebec in Montreal, she now lives the magnificent region of Charlevoix where she works as a chef.

She is perfect person to experiment methods of baking sweets. She is passionate about pastries, by vintage kitchen tools as well as our grandmothers’ know-how.

For Au bout du rang, she will explain the know-how of our grandmothers in the kitchen and she will adjust it to the present day. This quiet chef living in the countryside will teach us the old traditions of baking and will help us adapt these sweet treasures all year long.