The Quebec tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and the pouding chômeur (poor man pudding or unemployed pudding) are two heirloom recipes that have been around for many, many years in the province with as many versions as there are cooks. It really means every family have cherished their own recipe over many years. I enjoyed the tarte au sucre and the pouding chômeur this season at the Caron Sugar Bush and Shack near where I spend my summers in the Gatineau. The location is on the Pointe Comfort Road about 9 kilometres north of Gracefield. The shack is the popular eating place throughout the maple  season as families and friends sit around the long tables to be served family style of bean soup, cole slaw, beet pickles, dill pickles, tourtiere (meat pie), thick bacon slices fried, baked beans and the choice of the two heirloom desserts.

Tarte Au Sucre (Sugar Pie)   9-inch (22.5) tart

This is the most popular dessert in Quebec cuisine even with the many different versions.

 

  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) water
  • 1½ (375 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 range-free large egg
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 1 9-inch (22.5 cm) baked pie shell


1.  In saucepan, stir cornstarch and water together. Whisk in maple syrup, egg and similar when making a lemon meringue filling. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter. Allow the mixture to cool.

2.  Pour into baked pie shell. The filling thickens as it cools.

Pouding du Chômeur (Pour Man’s Pudding or Unemployed Pudding)

Makes 1 bread pan or 8-inch (20 cm) square pudding.

 

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) room-temperature butter
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 range-free large egg
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) vanilla
  • 1 cup (250 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) maple syrup or 2 cups (500 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (500 ml) water and 2 tsp (10 ml) butter


1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Lightly butter sides of a bread pan or 8-inch (20 cm) square bake pan

2.  Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In sieve over a bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt and sift ingredients into bowl; stir dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with milk. Spread batter in bread pan or square pan.  There are two choices for the sauce: pour maple syrup on top of batter or combine brown sugar, water and butter and pour over batter.

3.  Bake for 45 minutes for the bread pan size or 30-35 minutes for square or until a toothpick inserted in pudding comes out clean.

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