The Nanny Project : Rhea's Sugar Pie

The Nanny Project.

What is that?

It's an idea I came up with over two years ago. An idea to showcase recipes belonging to the women we call Nanny, or Nana, or Grandma (or whichever name we may have for them).

It's about tried and true recipes. Dishes that, the moment we take a taste, make us weak with nostalgia to be held by our grandmothers - smell their perfume one more time.

It's about women of generations gone by. Women whose lives we may know very little about.

And about how recipes are threads that tie us to the past.


I've posted about grandmother's a few times now. Here, here and my favourite, here.

Since the last time I posted a grandmother's recipe, I've pitched The Nanny Project as a cookbook idea to two different publishers, and both were excited by the notion. One wanted to sign a contract immediately after meeting, however, something big has come up that has pulled my focus (pun intended - more details to follow).

And so, for now, I'll continue to post these tried and true, tested-on-generations, grandma's recipes as I come across them.

The recipe for Rhea's Sugar Pie comes to me from a somewhat lengthy family connection. Rhea Marinier was my dad's wife Wanda's, sister Ruby's, husband Denis' mother.

Got it?

I don't know much about Rhea other than she lived in Quebec and that Ruby said she was a great lady, funny and she loved life.

Sounds like my kind of woman.

Yesterday, when I made Rhea's recipe, was the first time I've had Sugar Pie and if you're wondering, yes it's DAMN SWEET but it's oh so good. And how on earth can you resist the name? I knew it had to be next on my roster of posts when I couldn't stop singing this song -

Rhea's Sugar Pie

single unbaked pie shell, homemade or store-bought

2 C brown sugar

1.5 Tbsp flour

1 can evaporated milk

5 Tbsp butter (75g)

1 egg

0.5 tsp vanilla

- mix all and put in unbaked pie crust - bake 30-35 minutes

That's it for directions so I'm going to take it one step further and supplement the original steps with the steps I found helpful.

- preheat oven to 350ΒΊ

- in a large bowl, whisk brown sugar and flour to combine and break up lumps in brown sugar

- whisk in evaporated milk

- whisk in egg and vanilla

- melt butter and whisk in

- pour filling into pie crust and bake 30-35 minutes - pie is done when it puffs slightly and has a slight jiggle in the middle - remove from oven and cool

- optional - top slices with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon or cocoa