Easy and creamy overnight oats for one made with yogurt, topped with granola, and inspired by pie.
It would be quite reasonable to ask, ‘What in the name of Merlin’s beard is a Sugar Cream Pie?’ Surely all cream pies contain sugar – well, all traditional cream pies at least (so excluding that paleo-vegan-gluten-free-organic-raw-and-totally-natural cream pie that your hipster cousin makes*).
*Or you, if you are that hipster cousin.
So, what is this mystery pie? Sugar Cream Pie – also known as Hoosier Pie – is essentially a custard pie that’s been dusted with nutmeg and/or cinnamon. It’s falls into the joyfully-named category of ‘desperation pies’. If you’re in desperate need of a slice of pie, but don’t have any fruit or a pantry full of fancy ingredients, then you, my friend, need a desperation pie. These are pies that only require sugar, cream, some kind of pie shell and not much else.
Other desperation pies include chess pie, vinegar pie and shoofly pie. It seems that no-one’s exactly sure how that last one got its name.
Sugar Cream Pies are traced back to the Amish and Shaker communities that settled in the US state of Indiana in the 1800s. Unlike most custard pies, the Sugar Cream Pie is made without eggs. Instead, as the name suggests, the pie filling basically just made from sugar, vanilla, cream and/or milk. As you’d expect, there are plenty of variations out there – sometimes spices are added to the filling, sometimes brown sugar is used instead of white, and so on.
In 2009, the Sugar Cream Pie was given the prestigious honor of being named Indiana’s official state pie. And that brings me to another fact about Indiana: the state’s holding its presidential primaries next Tuesday (on May 3).
So, in honor of the Hoosier State, let’s all munch on a super-easy breakfast version of a Sugar Cream Pie.
This is undoubtedly a loose interpretation of a Sugar Cream Pie. Since I wanted something creamy and sweet, but not outrageously unhealthy, I turned to one of my old favorites: Greek-style vanilla yogurt. Any type of thick vanilla yogurt will do – it doesn’t necessarily need to be authentic Greek yogurt. If plain yogurt is all you have, then that should be fine as long as you compensate for the sourness with a little extra maple syrup.
Trusty granola is my substitute for a pie shell. Sure, granola is pretty different to pie crust. But it’s still crunchy and delicious (and we are dealing with overnight oats here, so let’s not get too picky). If you’d like something a little more crust-like, try some chopped graham crackers or digestive biscuits. Or simply some chopped nuts, if you’re plum out of granola and cookies.
Last of all, don’t forget to dust your overnight oats ‘pie’ with some cinnamon or nutmeg. And then, voilà: pie for breakfast!
- Overnight oats
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
- Ground cinnamon
- In a bowl or container, combine the rolled oats, chia seeds, vanilla extract and milk. Add the vanilla yogurt and maple syrup (if using), and mix until completely combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or put the lid on the container) and leave in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, stir in a little extra milk if the overnight oats are too thick.
- Sprinkle some ground cinnamon over the oats, and top with a generous handful of granola.
If preferred, you can dust the oats with nutmeg instead (just don’t add too much!).
Any thick vanilla yogurt should be fine - it doesn't need to be authentic Greek yogurt. Otherwise use plain yogurt, and add some extra maple syrup.