Recipes

Sucre à la Crème: A Traditional Quebec Dessert

As Quebec National Day is coming up, I have been craving some traditional recipes for the past few weeks. One of my cravings was sucre à la crème, which is basically sugar fudge. Back when I lived with my parents, my aunt (well, mom’s aunt) Berta would bring a big container of it as she came to play cards. I would sit there and eat most of it, trying to share as little as possible with everyone, especially my brother. It was so good! So good indeed that no one ever tried to make her recipe. She was the best and the rest of the family knew it. Before I left for Virginia, one of my visits to her house, she decided to show me how to make it her way. The instructions were very strict and pretty terrifying for someone who never cooked or baked at the time. You have to use a wooden spoon, nothing else will work! Always stir in the same direction! And it went on and on, until we ended up with the smoothest and sweetest treats. She gave me the recipe and I had only attempted it twice on my own. The first time turned fine but none of my American friends could eat more than a bite as it was too sweet for them. The second time was a runny mess that still tasted fine when eaten with a spoon but it was nothing like fudge. That last attempt was pretty discouraging and I didn’t try it again for several years.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to give in another chance. I must say that my arm was very tired by the end but the result was exactly what I wanted it to be. As I asked my husband to take a picture of me making it to send to her, he told me Tip the pan so I can see what’s in it. Of course, I refused as my aunt would be so mad if she knew I tipped the pan while whisking! That would be pure madness! Does he not know the rules?? He ended up having to climb on the counter to get a picture that showed the inside of the pan. The only reasonable option, really. 🙂

The smell was divine and the instructions were followed to a tee.
The smell was divine and the instructions were followed to a tee.

Sucre à la crème de Matante Berta (Auntie Berta’s Sugar Fudge)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 7 oz of evaporated milk
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar

What’s Next?

  1. Mix the brown sugar, butter and milk in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook on medium-high (gentle boil) and stir constantly until you get 5 minutes of gentle boiling. (Don’t forget Berta’s orders: use a wooden spoon and always stir in the same direction! :))
  3. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar.
  4. Mix with a hand-mixer or a whisk for 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Put the mixture in a greased baking dish (I used an 8×8 pan and I would suggest putting parchment paper to make it easier to take out of the dish later) and refrigerate, at least for a few hours, until it gets a fudge-like consistency.
  6. Cut into bite-size pieces and store in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container.
As you can see, mine didn't all look alike as I had some trouble getting it out of the dish but it still tasted great!
As you can see, mine didn’t all look alike as I had some trouble getting it out of the dish but, hey, the taste is the only thing I really cared about!

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