Emboldened by recent pie success recreating my great aunt's favorite Lemon Chocolate Pie, I decided to tackle a classic beloved by many of my Midwestern friends—the Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie. Not only is it the easiest pie I've ever made, it's also one of the tastiest.
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The reason this French dessert is surfacing here under a Spanish alias is that islas flotantes are a served in many homes and restaurants around Latin America. The construction is the same as in their land of provenance: small mounds of feathery meringues float swanlike in a still, chilled pool of crème anglaise threaded with amber caramel sauce.
This hybrid dessert combines two of our favorite sweet and creamy treats: rice pudding and flan.
Crème Brûlée is a dessert that's super old school, and by most estimates it's been pleasing cooks in this manner for over 300 years. It's originally credited to the French, but desserts of a similar format pepper European history, like Crema Cremada (Catalan "burnt cream") being incredibly popular in its namesake region of Spain, and Trinity Cream, which was originally created by a student at Trinity college for the cooks there.