Recipe Finder: Old timey brown sugar pie

Linda Settles from Havre de Grace was looking for a recipe for brown sugar pie that duplicated the one her grandmother used to make. She said her grandmother had five daughters but none of them remember how she made the pie.

Jeannie Armstrong from Dayton, MD found a recipe for the pie in a cookbook she bought at an antique store years ago. It was first published in 1915 and revised in 1944.

I tested the recipe that she kindly sent in and found that it needed a little tweaking. When I made it just as it was written there was not quite enough filling. The flavor was very good but the pie was very thin.

I located a similar recipe on the food blog and gave that one a try with better results. This one too is a very old recipe and, as typical of many old-time recipes, it is quite simple to make and would be easy to put together with things most people have on hand in their pantry. Not that grandma would approve, but I made it using a refrigerator crust, so it took less then 10 minutes to assemble.

This homey pie is reminiscent of a pecan pie, without the pecans. It is slightly less rich and not as dense as most pecan pies but with a wonderful texture and caramel flavor. It’s best served warm, and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of real whipped cream on top it makes for old fashioned comfort food at it’s very best.

Brown Sugar PieMakes one 9-inch pie2 cups firmly packed brown sugar2 eggs, lightly beaten2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract4 heaping Tablespoons flour6 Tablespoons milk or half and half4 Tablespoons melted butter1 disk pie dough (homemade or store-bought)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients (except the pie dough) in a bowl and mix on medium speed for two minutes.Roll out the dough, press into a 9-inch pie plate, trim off any excess dough around the edges. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the pie shell and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and the filling has set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.


Dorothy Miller from Towson is looking for a recipe for Oriental fruitcake. She says it is made with fresh pineapple, freshly grated coconut, coconut milk, black walnuts and golden raisins.

Mary Mossman from Baltimore is looking for a recipe for pumpkin soup with dumplings like the one her mother used to make. She said her grandmother came from Poland and taught her mother Polish cooking and this was something she used to make. Sadly, her mother did not pass down the recipe, so she is hoping someone might have something similar to share.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

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