Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aunt Bettye’s Brown Sugar Pie

Day 44

Truth be told, I’m a real pushover for all things nostalgic, whether personal or vicarious. Like most people, I become misty-eyed whenever I remember something special in my past, but I also find myself wistful while reading emotionally charged stories of days gone by. In that same vein, I think, today’s recipe lends itself to whatever brand of nostalgia you prefer. Its simplicity is refreshing, and your taste buds are sure to thank you.

It’s also special to share that this recipe is not my own. My Aunt Bettye—one of the best bakers I’ll ever know—very kindly shared her Brown Sugar Pie with me a few weeks ago. Having her culinary guidance and some of her treasured recipes in my personal repertoire is
Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
something for which I am ever so grateful. As I understand it, the Brown Sugar Pie is a veritable classic in her family that has been passed down from generation to generation. How fortunate that she gave me permission to share it here. 

When I made it, I was immediately reminded of my grandmother’s recipe for Poor Man’s Pie, which is essentially the same filling, except that oatmeal is added. I think I like Aunt Bettye’s Brown Sugar Pie best, though, because of how delicate and absolutely delicious it is. The texture and flavor bring to mind pecan pie, but the brown sugar’s prominent role really allows the molasses flavor to shine. 

Interestingly, the timing was perfect for my trying this recipe. I was right in the middle of a poignant novel about two World War II wives who were pen pals while their husbands fought overseas. The women shared their fears and joys, discussed the rationing of food stateside, and even traded shortcut recipes that made the most of the food shortages. If you are an avid reader and you enjoy compelling, heartfelt, and vivid novels that stir your nostalgic tendencies, please read I’ll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan. You’ll surely be glad you did. And, while you’re reading, try Aunt Bettye’s incredibly tasty Brown Sugar Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’ll be taken back to a simpler time, even if you didn’t experience it. 

Thanks, Aunt Bettye, for sharing this incredible pie recipe! 

Aunt Bettye’s Brown Sugar Pie

2 (8-inch) pie crusts
1 box (1 lb.) dark brown sugar
6 eggs
7 tbs. melted butter or margarine
1 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together. Divide evenly and pour into two piecrusts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until set. Allow to cool before serving. Freezes well. 


  1. Hi, Maggie! This is Loretta Nyhan, one of the authors of I'LL BE SEEING YOU. Thank you so much for mentioning our book on your charming blog. And, I'll be sure to try Aunt Bettye's Brown Sugar Pie--it sounds delicious!

  2. Loretta Nyhan! What a delightful surprise that you wrote on my blog--how special is this! :) Thank you! And, thanks for your incredible writing. I'm hooked now, so I can't wait to read more of your work. Let me know how the pie turns out!