Tonka Bean Cream Pie

Years ago I heard about the famous cream pie that the Welsh settlers still, because they arrived in 1865!, make at the tea-houses in Gaiman, in a Chubut valley, a place is in my list of places to go (among others!).
And the cream pie waited a years in my mind to be made.

Recently, I do not know where I read about the Sugar cream pie, presumably originating in the U.S. southern colonies, the Amish or Quakers, in 1850s (or before they, it is uncertain), and seemed familiar with the Welsh one. And there was no other choice but to do it.

It is a very easy pie, and VERY rich, too. Rich in two senses, really delicious, and the overwhelming richness of the whipping cream. I would not hesitate in making this almost exclusively for autumn or winter. But it isn´t overpowering in its richness, and not too sugary, but don´t count calories while eating!
This recipe, if you make it once, will have it as a wildcard. Believe me!

I looked at many recipes, some uses brown sugar, some carrying eggs, different proportions of ingredients, but I wanted the traditional pie.
The method for preparing the filling is unusual, put all ingredients in an unbaked pie crust, and mix with your fingers. I did not like that, but I took the idea, which is to mix everything but without incorporating air to the mixture.

The only thing that is not traditional in this is the tonka bean. I saw many recipes that use grated nutmeg on top, and as I recently bought the bean for my first time, I took the opportunity to use it.

The aroma goes very well with the simplicity of the cream. It is an aroma that can be confused with vanilla, caramel, so I understand why it´s a cheap (and trucho) substitute for of vanilla essence. It's like vanilla, but different, is a particular aroma, intense, which fits well with dairy.
Of course, if you do not have the bean in the pantry, use nutmeg, or any other spice.

Another plus for this recipe is the pie crust. INCREDIBLY easy, simple and quick to make. With only three ingredients (well, four, but the salt shouldn´t count).Not to be missed!
It doesn´t contain sugar, and you won´t notice. 
And another good quality, that I can not fail to mention, is that is low in cholesterol, ideal for me and those who suffer when they see the results of clinical tests. 
It´s low in cholesterol but only the crust!

Cream pie + tonka bean
Pie crust
All purpose flour 300 g (2 cups)
Oil 110 g (1/2 cup)
Milk 100 g (1/4 cup)
Salt, pinch

Whipping cream 600 g
Common sugar 150 g
All purpose flour 60 g
Grated tonka bean 1/2 seed

- In a bowl, mix oil and cold milk.
- Add the flour and salt, and mix until all the ingredients are blended and form a ball of dough
- In a clean pie pan of 24 cm in diameter put the dough with your fingers and spread it to fill the pan. You won´t have an excess of dough.
- Keep in refrigerator while making the filling

- Preheat oven to 200°C
- Mix in a bowl the flour and sugar.
- Slowly add the cream, stirring carefully so flour does not form clumps
- Pour over base and sprinkle or grate directly over the filling, the tonka bean
- Bring gently to the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 200°C and then lower the oven to 180°C for 25 minutes, until you see that the fill moves like a gelatin
- Remove, let cool and put into the refrigerator

Serve with whipped cream (if that wasn´t enough cream!)

I think with all that said, I sold you the pie. Or I hope so!


  1. Sometimes a simple cream pie can be beautiful. As yours is! I spent a lot of my childhood in Wales and cream either clotted or not was a regular in the pantry and let me tell you no amount of cream is rich enough! :-)

    1. Hi Amrita! You´re right, cream is never enough... And clotted cream? I would die for some...
      Thanks for your comments!!!


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