Hoosier Mama


Chicago is lucky to have a small (but mighty) pie shop called Hoosier Mama. I knew this the first time I sat in their tiny storefront shop and ate a slice of warm apple pie with a cup of coffee on a rainy autumn afternoon. I am reminded of this good fortune every time I pick up a pie from their stand at the farmers market. And I was reminded of it again last week when I bought a copy of their wonderful new cookbook, The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie.

Paula Haney and Allison Scott managed to translate everything that is charming and wonderful about their shop into a cookbook that includes the recipe for every pie I have ever seen them sell. It is an impressive (and generous!) collection ranging from sweet to savory. There are also handpies, quiches and even suggestions for what to do with dough scraps. Techniques are carefully laid out and encouragingly explained. The book is the perfect kitchen companion and one that I know I will return to often.


My two favorite Hoosier Mama pies are their funeral pie (a heady collection of raisins and autumn spices that you should not wait for a funeral to make!) and this Dutch Apple Pie with Sour Cream Custard. This pie, this magical pie, is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Truth. I had long considered cherry pie to be my favorite but questioned everything when I first tasted this beauty (Dear Cherry Pie, Don’t feel bad. I now consider you tied for my favorite. Love, Tim). I think the easiest way of explaining this masterpiece is to say that it is as if a pie, a coffee cake, and a cheesecake had a baby. And really, what could be better? I knew, regardless of season, this was the first recipe I needed to try. It is as magnificent as I remember. It is also worth noting that in five years of blogging, and almost eight years of loving, I have never seen Bryan so excited by something I baked. He went crazy for this thing.

Hoosier Mama will always be my favorite pie shop and now there is a chance, even if you have never been to Chicago, that is might become yours, too.


A few steps here, but nothing difficult. I think it is easiest to start a day in advance…keeping in mind it needs to chill. Another beautiful thing about this pie is that is keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge. Pies are a little more work than your average dessert, so it is nice to have a recipe that will be around for a few days.

Dutch Apple Pie with Sour Cream Custard (recipe by Paula Haney from The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie)

  • 1 single-crust blind baked All-Butter Pie Dough shell (recipe available here as pdf, or use favorite pie dough)
  • 2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (I like Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (feel free to sub extract)
  • 1 recipe Walnut Streusel (follows)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the apple pieces over the bottom of the pie shell. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

Place the sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until well-combined.

Whisk together the sour cream, egg, and vanilla paste.

Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared pie shell, over the apples. With a spatula, submerge any apples that float to the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edge of the filling is slightly puffed and the center is dry to the touch.

While the pie bakes, prepare the Walnut Streusel.

When the pie is ready, gently scatter the streusel over the top of the pie and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the streusel is crispy.

Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before slicing.


Walnut Streusel (enough for one pie)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine the flour, walnuts, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

Pour in the melted butter and mix with your fingers (or a fork) until the mixture resembles coarse meal.



60 comments to “Hoosier Mama”

  1. I know what you mean about favourites! The Hoosier Mama pie I baked up this weekend might also be tied for sour cherry as my favourite now. Dutch apple will probably only make things harder, but I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. Oh goodness! That pie is beautiful! I love pie almost as much as I love Chicago. Will have to purchase this cookbook soon!

  3. oh, my….can’t wait to try this!

  4. Oh, man, I need to make this, and perhaps add yet another cookbook to my vast collection. Sour cherry crumb is my favorite, followed closely by rhubarb streusel (no strawberries, please). This summer I hesitantly made a Richard Sax pie with sour cherries, rhubarb, and blueberries. Turned out great.

  5. Perhaps the greatest thing America has given the world is pie, exuberant and extravagant pies. This book looks wonderful.

  6. elizabeth madden says:

    August 15th, 2013 at 7:10 am

    So happy to have this recipe. I’ve loved this pie for awhile, but could never give my son Henry any, because he is allergic to walnuts. Now I can make it without! thanks Tim. Beautiful post.

  7. Hmm, sounds like we need to make that pie shop a stop when I get back to Chicago!

  8. It’s monsoon season here in Lahore. It would be nice to have a slice of this right now as i watch the rain drizzling away in my lawn…

  9. My favorite place to escape life, love their chocolate cream pie and passion fruit meringue. The best.

  10. Anything that you say is one of the best things you have ever eaten will most certainly be made by me! I will think of you when I make this Tim. xo

  11. Yes, David! I will take you there for sure.

    Love hearing from all of you pie-lovers.

    Ashley- Passion fruit meringue is one of the few I haven’t tried yet- Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. Is the Chocolate Chess in the book? I’m obsessed with their Chocolate Chess pie but they can’t sell it at GreenCity (chocolate isn’t local of course) and I never seem to make it to the shop.

    I love their scones too. So delicious.

  13. Hi Whitney! It is! They’re all in the book. : )

  14. Hoosier Mama is one of my favorite pie shops too! As an Indiana native, I struggle with my home state pride, but Paula is a Hoosier to be proud of! Can’t wait to get my hands on the new cookbook.

  15. LOVE Hoosier Mama! Looking forward to trying it soon. The oddly cool weather in Chicago right now is perfect for an apple pie!

  16. luv your blog luv Hoosier Mama! do you bake the pie shell first?

  17. I will be in Chicago this fall and have already been scouring your list of recommendations, Tim, to plot my eating accordingly. Hoosier Mama is now moving straight to the top, and I will be sure to report back. I tried Huckleberry in June when I was in LA and positively swooned, so you haven’t led me astray yet!

  18. Thanks for sharing this with those who can not get to Chicago so easy!
    I’m not from the USA but if i ever go to Chicago no doubt i will go to Hossier Mama Pie Shop!

  19. Looks like the right cake for a late summer evening!

  20. What size is a standard pie tin in the US? 9 inches? (I have a fairly ramshackle assortment of baking gear so have to make adjustments to fit whatever is to hand!)

  21. Hey Angela- 9-inch is standard!

  22. Hey Claire- Yep, “blind baked” indicates you baked the crust pre-filling. Instructions for blind-baking are detailed in crust recipe….

  23. Oh…I should not have read this post before eating dinner…

  24. That pie looks amazing. I need to visit their store soon!

  25. This seems like as good a time as any to tell you that Matt and I pronounce Hoosiers the French way, e.g., Hooz-ee-yay.

    OK, that’s it! xoxo

  26. My heart just skipped a beat. Sour cream custard??? I am totally sold! Can’t wait to try this.

  27. Your pie looks way better than mine did. You really showed that crust who’s boss!

  28. Gahhh!!! Mind blown–cheesecake, pie, and coffee cake had a baby?! That literally sounds like my new favorite dessert. I need to visit Chicago and go to this bakery.

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try this.

  29. Tim, This pie was fantastic!! I took it to a party & everyone who had “firsts” went back for seconds. I made it in a 9″ tart pan & used the pie crust recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, but otherwise followed the recipe as written–it worked out perfectly. Thank you for making my first pie a slam dunk!

  30. This looks like a wonderful pie. Is there a reason it’s called Dutch Apple?

  31. Your writing makes me laugh. Thank you.

  32. I wish I could pop into the store for pie but alas Sydney is a little far from Chicago. This is absolutely the next best thing though. Thanks for sharing the recipe – I’ll be making it this weekend!

  33. This pie!! Baking it right now. And I NEED to get my hands on that book. Being from the burbs, I’m so excited for her upcoming location in Evanston!

  34. schneiderluvsdoof says:

    August 29th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Delicious. And as you may know, they also have a blueberry pie that has A LOT of blueberries in it.

  35. That pie looks beautiful! I can almost taste the delicious crust just by looking at eat.

  36. To anyone on the fence about purchasing this book…DO IT! I just picked it up yesterday at the Hoosier Mama Pie Boot Camp and cannot out it down. They make reference to this blog (now I’ve got to subscribe too

  37. This looks amazing. I’m going to try it using Gala apples. Love the quality of the photos.

  38. Next trip to the Farmer’s Market we are getting some apples to make this pie!

  39. I do not have the words to describe how delicious this pie is. It is simply stunning. Thank you so much for sharing Tim! I love your site so very much.

  40. schneiderluvsdoof says:

    September 30th, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I revise a previous comment about blueberry pie. That pie I was referring to is actually from Bang Bang! Sorry about that.

  41. I believe they are opening a location 2 blocks from my house!

  42. I just bought this cookbook thanks to your post! I loved going to Hoosier Mama when I lived in Chicago, and now I can have that experience in Boston too!

  43. I bought the book because of this post! The recipe in the books says to cook the pie at 300. But I have had the pie in the oven for over 25 minutes and it isn’t close to done. Did you have a similar experience? Is that why you changed the cooking temperature to 350? I just cranked up the temperature. I hope that it turns out! Did anyone else have this experience?

  44. Hey Julie,

    Just keep going. I’ve made the pie a couple of times and I think 350 makes more sense. Turn the oven up a bit and then carefully monitor until it is done. It the crust starts to get dark you can just make a foil shield for it. I’ll ask Hoosier Mama and see what they think, too. Enjoy!

  45. Now I am facing a second problem: I carefully followed the directions for the streusel topping and it looks nothing like yours! It just looks like a pile of uncooked flour and sugar on top of the pie! I left it in there for at least 20 minutes and dotted it with butter. The butter didn’t reach all of the dry parts so – out of sheer desperation- I gave it a spray of canola oil. I don’t know what is going on. My streusel toppings never turn out. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  46. I think that I might have saved it. Next time I am going to add more butter to the topping. Maybe I will dot a couple of tablespoons on the top (in addition to the six tablespoons that the recipe calls for).

  47. Hi Julie- I hope you saved it! I wonder if you are measuring dry ingredients correctly? Are you spooning flour into a measuring cup and leveling it off? The proportions of the streusel topping are definitely correct. One other suggestion- when I am dealing with the streusel I grab handfuls of it and squeeze it together into a giant clump. I then break the clump up into smaller pieces and scatter them on top of the pie. In any case, I hope it tastes great!

  48. Thanks, Tim! I may not be measuring the dry ingredients correctly. I usually just scoop them out of the container with a measuring cup. I will follow your suggestion. I will also try your special streusel technique.

  49. Hey Tim, I am just getting back to you about the pie. I managed to save it and it was delicious. My husband and mother told me that it was the best pie that they have ever tasted! I look forward to exploring the rest of the book.

  50. Great, Julie! Glad to hear it. I also really like the Apple, Raspberry and Rose pie as well as the Apple Cider Caramel pie. Happy baking!

  51. This pie looks amazing! I was wondering if I could bake it the day before Thanksgiving, then refrigerate it until the big event?

  52. Hi Hilary, Yep- as I said in the notes above the recipe- it will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. It is perfect for Thanksgiving.

  53. Hey! love your recipes! for this one, can I use the packaged sour cream (the dip kind) or will I need to make my own from scratch?

  54. Hi Grace, Just regular (full-fat) sour cream in the tub!

  55. Hello,

    This is Julie again. I have made the pie twice now. I always seem to end up with more streusel topping than the pie really needs. Has anyone else had this experience? Tim – do you use the entire recipe of streusel? I find that it is a bit too much.

  56. Hey Julie- I think it is a question of personal preference, how much the pie needs is in the eye of the beholder. There is a lot of streusel, I love streusel-so I am happy with it. You can certainly reduce the amount if you prefer less.

  57. I just baked this pie tonight, and had some troubles, so I thought I’d check the comments to see if anyone said anything similar. I am laughing to see that I had the exact same problems as Julie- took longer to bake than I thought, the streusel looked raw, and there was way too much. I just baked it all for much longer than written, and ended up scraping most of the streusel off. It is seriously tons! I made a mess. Anyway, will taste it tomorrow and see if I managed to save it too. Cheers!

  58. Hi Lydia- I just want to clarify for everyone that the amount of streusel is not an error, it is the intended amount of streusel for the pie. Obviously you (and Julie!) prefer less, but it is simply a matter of preference (and you should adjust to match your tastes). I have made the pie many times now, and I think the amount of streusel is perfect. It is a streusel that remains crumbly and never melts into a solid mass, which is maybe why you think it looks raw? (You baked at 350, right?) In any case, I wanted to clarify so that future bakers know their options. Photos are all of the recipe as written, you can see that the streusel remains crumbly and that there is a lot of it. Thanks for checking in and sharing your experiences, I hope your finished product was still good. This remains one of my all-time favorite recipes. Also delicious with cranberries in place of the apples!

  59. Tim, I love Hoosier Mama (maybe even more than !Bang Bang!)..but this always sounded odd to me, I thought cold, soft apples would be gross. I could not have been more wrong. This was delicious. And so damn easy to make. Took me like 10 minutes to get together. I took to a party and the entire thing was gone, and I have made two for friends in the last week. I love the creaminess of the sour cream custard with the apples. And the topping was perfect. Nice one!

  60. This was the yummiest apple pie i have ever tasted, this was confirmed by all the guests as well!!

    I could not find sour cream in the shop so i replaced it with buttermilk which was superb. I

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