Hoosier Milk Tarts with Berries

With 89 votes, the good readers of The Hungry Hounds clearly had a hankering for a Hoosier (or Indiana) style dessert. Having spent a combined 14 years in the Hoosier heartland, this mandate warmed our mid-western bellies!  One of Indiana's finest culinary traditions is Hoosier Milk Pie (alternatively known as Indiana Sugar or Cream Pie). Hoosier Milk Pie came to Indiana in the mid 1800's with Quaker and Amish homesteaders. It is a homey, dairy-rich custard-style pie with a stove-top filling. Hoosier Milk Pie is egg-less, which is great for those with allergies, makes it easy to cook (no curdling), and allows the clean milk flavor to take the limelight. A crisp flaky crust (whole wheat in this case) paired with the milk custard partners beautifully with fresh ripe berries.  To make this pie your own, substitute any fruit you'd like, eat it unadorned, or add whipped cream as is traditional in some parts of Indiana. Either way, you are going to love this easy and versatile pie. 


Yield: 4 mini tarts, or 1 larger 10-inch tart 


  • 1 single pie crust dough (we used our flaky whole wheat pie dough with 1 tablespoon sugar mixed in with the flours), chilled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pints fresh berries, washed


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Prepare 4 mini tart pans (or one large, 10" tart pan) by lightly spraying with cooking spray and dusting with flour.  This step ensures that your tarts will release easily from the pan. Skipping this step will not affect flavor, but it may make for a messier presentation.
  3. Roll out your pie dough to about 1/8" thick, and press into the tart pan(s). Use a fork to prick the bottom of the tart dough in 4-5 places. Pricking the dough keeps bubbles from forming during baking. Move quickly while forming the tart shell(s), so the heat of your hands does not melt the butter in the dough.
  4. Blind bake (i.e. with no filling) the tart shell(s) for approximately 10 minutes on a center rack. The crusts will start to brown lightly and should start to pull away from the tart pans. While the tart shells cool, start on the filling.
  5. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, milk, cream, butter, cornstarch, and salt. Turn the heat to medium high and whisk constantly as the filling comes to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn to low and continue stirring for 2 minutes. The filling will be quite thick (think Greek yogurt).
  6. Remove the filling from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  7. Pour or ladle the filling into the cooled tart shell(s). Allow the filled shells to cool for 2-3 minutes while you wash and dry the berries. 
  8. Top the tart(s) with berries, pressing down slightly to embed each fruit in the rapidly thickening filling. 
  9. Cool at least 20 minutes (or refrigerate up to 4 hours), and enjoy!