French Canadian Tarte au Sucre

This is a love story not about a pie but about the woman who has baked it for her family for more than 60 years. Innovation in the kitchen is not as impressive as consistency. After all, anyone can come up with an original idea or two over a lifetime. But making something perfectly, the same way, time after time, well that is an achievement. Everytime I get to eat this pie, I consider myself the luckiest person in the world.

image And I am not alone. A bite of this classic French Canadian dessert elicits moans of pleasure from one and all alike. It is no secret that love is baked in every single bite. My mom is the person I admire most in the world. One of 15 children born into poverty, she overcame hardship with grace, determination, ingenuity and grit. Married at 16, she is pretty much self-taught. Unable to receive a formal education, she raised all university-educated children. She dreamed big for her children.  But the greatest thing I admire about my mom is her positive outlook on life. She has never wasted a single day of her life on feeling blue or sorry for herself. She gets up every day full of purpose and joy. When she has a chance to cook for family or friends, her most requested recipe is for tarte au sucre as was the case on a recent visit home. The pie filling is simple: brown sugar, butter, vanilla and evaporated milk baked into a flaky crust.  Tradition and love in every bite, indeed.

My mom Pierrette,with her great grandsons Deacon and Wilson, a fourth generation of tarte au sucre fans.

My mom Pierrette,with her great grandsons Deacon and Wilson, a fourth generation of tarte au sucre fans.

 

Pierrette's Tarte au Sucre

  • 1 3/4 c light brown sugar, densely packed
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c evaporated milk
  • 1 9″ unbaked pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the flour with the brown sugar together with your hands.
  3. Cut in butter until mixture ressembles coarse oatmeal.
  4. Add milk and mix until milk has been incorporated into the sugar.
  5. Pour into your unbaked pie shell and bake in a center rack for 45 to 50 minutes, checking for doneness starting at 40 minutes.  The pie should be golden with the center still slightly jiggly.

image

Beautiful Northern Ontario

Beautiful Northern Ontario

21 thoughts on “French Canadian Tarte au Sucre

  1. Such a lovely tribute to your amazing mom! On Jul 13, 2016 12:09 PM, “French Gardener Dishes” wrote:

    > Johanne Lamarche posted: “This is a love story not about a pie but about > the woman who has baked it for her family for more than 60 years. > Innovation in the kitchen is not as impressive as consistency. After all, > anyone can come up with an original idea or two over a lifetime. But” >

  2. I love your beautiful words about your Mom. This is another winning traditional creation of hers. Similar to pecan pie without the nuts.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Only read the story…. Haven’t even read the recipe yet and I already know I can’t wait to make it!! Thx for sharing! ❤️😘

    Sharon Garizio Sent from my iPhone Excuse typos

    >

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the picture of your beautiful mom and family. Sam and I fell in love with her in December 2014 on her visit here to Pennsylvania. She is truly an amazing woman , full of energy, vivacious,, joyful and loving. I hope to make her pie someday. It looks sweet and yummy. I know my grandkids will absolutely love it.!

    • My mom sends her regards and love Mary Ann. She is sorry to hear of your accident and sends her best wishes. She remembers our 5 Star PA dinner with you and Sam so fondly and often reminisces about you both. Xxoo

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  5. Ma chère Johanne, Je ne suis pas “French Canadian”, seulement Française et Canadienne mais la recette de ta maman me tente quand même…. Comment vas-tu? As-tu aimé ta visite de jardin en Angleterre? Est-ce la première fois que tu faisais un voyage avec PHS? Je suis en Nouvelle Écosse en train de faire la chasse aux mauvaises herbes jusqu’au 24 juillet. Et toi que fais-tu cet été? Je t’embrasse bien fort. Christine

    >

    • I am sure this pie has been made for over 100 years in French Canada as the recipe came with Belgian and French immigrants. My mom is 84 and started making it when she was 7! Thank you for stopping by Sheryl.

      Johanne Lamarche

      >

  6. What a lovely post Johanne – you’ve obviously inherited a lot of your mother’s great qualities. She’s adorable! I’m actually in Quebec at the moment – in the Saguenay. When I get home, I’ll make this recipe for sure. Tellement délicieux! Will be my first ever tarte au sucre!

    • Le Saguenay, c’est si beau!!!! Profites de ta vacance Lindy! Les SAQ donnent peut-être les caisses de vin en bois? Thank you for your lovely comments regarding my maman. She is an amazing woman.

      Johanne Lamarche

      >

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