Got word from one of my favorite correspondents that the Indiana Foodways Alliance is pushing for the sugar cream pie, also known as Hoosier pie, to be named the Official Pie of Indiana.
It's one of my favorite pies to make and a very easy pie to get very wrong...depending on your use of ingredients. The translucent treat can be too creamy (not translucent enough is usually a good clue), too dense and too sweet.
My family recipe, as I posted here, is a personal favorite. It's best if you also have light, flaky crust that doesn't compete with the subtle pie filling.
In a story about the Foodways Alliance effort, WIBC notes that credit for popularizing sugar cream pie goes to Eastern Indiana: "It's said Quaker settlers from North Carolina invented so-called 'desperation pie' around the time of Indiana's statehood in 1816."
But the story also notes that the sugar cream has a competitor: rhubarb pie, which outsells sugar cream at Wick's Pies in Winchester, Ind.
I'm not a big fan of rhubarb pie on its own. But I love strawberry rhubarb.
Still...I'd choose Hoosier Sugar Cream to represent the state.
For those who think it's a waste of time for the legislature to consider such matters, I agree with the Foodways Alliance that promoting unique food items is a way to draw visitors to small towns and family restaurants short on marketing and long on tradition.