Sugar Pies in Perouges, France

Sugar Pies in Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

I love taking a step back in time, especially when it is to the Middles Ages. So when I arrived in Pérouges, a well-preserved medieval walled town, I was enchanted.

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

This fascinating and historical cobblestone town is perched on a hill overlooking the Ain River valley 19 miles north of Lyon, France.

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

It was developed in the 14th century based around the local wine and weaving industries.

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

Today Pérouges has been declared by the French government as “one of the most beautiful villages in France.”

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

The fortress Church of St Mary Magdalen was destroyed during a siege in 1468 and later rebuilt in 1479.

Wishing well in Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

Today the town has fewer than 100 inhabitants and is beautifully maintained.

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

Walking down the cobbled streets, you will see artistically placed flowers, artisan shops in old 15 & 16th-century houses, hotels and restaurants.

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

Many famous people have visited the village & sampled the local specialty Galette de Pérouges (sugar pie), including Bill Clinton (during the G7 in Lyon in 1996).

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

So of course, my mother and I stopped at Hostellerie de Pérouges, a nearly 600-year-old house converted into a hotel & restaurant, to taste this internationally acknowledged sugar sensation.

Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

We were pleasantly delighted when we tasted this sweet, brioche-like dough with a caramelized sugar and lemon topping.

sugar pie in Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

Personally, I think it should be called Crème Brûlée Pizza. No matter what name you use, it was the perfect mid-morning indulgence complimented with a glass of Vin du Bugey Montagnieu sparkling wine.

sugar pie in Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

According to farming tradition, the famous Galette de Pérouges was created by Marie-Louise Thibaut in 1912 when she settled in the village with her husband.  At that time, Pérouges was almost abandoned, so she established a commission to salvage the town and draw tourists.

Marie-Louise opened the Hostellerie de Pérouges and created a menu inspired by medieval dishes, which featured an ancient recipe for a wood-fired sugar pie. The village was saved and the pie still remains one of the star attractions.

Sugar pie in Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

My friends Rick and Dinah enjoying this unique regional specialty.

Even James Beard felt this sugar pie had “all the virtues of French country cooking—it is simple, inexpensive, and makes thoroughly delicious eating.”  The recipe below comes from Mark Bittman, printed in the New York Times.

Galette de Pérouges - Sugar Pie
Cuisine: French
  • 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  1. Combine yeast, flour, salt, tablespoon of sugar, cold butter, egg and lemon zest in food processor. Turn machine on, let it run for a second until mixture is blended, and then let machine run while you add ¼ cup water through feed tube, a little at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or 2 of water, and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.)
  2. Turn dough onto very lightly floured work surface, and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round ball. Place in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap or damp cloth, and let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough just about doubles in size, or at least 1 hour. (You can also let dough rise more slowly, in refrigerator, for as long as 6 or 8 hours.)
  3. Preheat oven to at least 500°F (600 is better, if your oven goes that high). Knead dough lightly, and place it on a very lightly floured surface; sprinkle it with a little more flour, and cover with plastic wrap or towel. Let it rest while oven heats.
  4. Pat or roll out dough as thinly as possible to a diameter of 12 inches, using a little more flour if necessary. The process will be easier if you allow dough to rest occasionally between rollings. If you have a pizza stone in your oven, place dough on a floured peel, or long-handled board; if you do not, lay dough on lightly buttered baking sheet.
  5. Spread dough with softened butter, and sprinkle it with remaining sugar. Bake until crust is nicely crisp and sugar lightly caramelizes, about 10 minutes; if galette is browning unevenly, rotate it back to front about halfway through cooking time. Serve hot or at room temperature as a snack, or at room temperature with creme fraiche and cut-up ripe fruit.


Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

It is a pleasure to discover every nook and cranny in this adorable historical village.


Ariel Photo Credit: Les Plus Veaux Village de France

Adventure awaits for all who travel to Pérouges.
…and then, she paused for thought.


Sugar Pie in Perouges | She Paused 4 Thought

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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31 Responses to Sugar Pies in Perouges, France

  1. Melody Welch September 22, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    This is so amazing! Can I move there? Do they like visitors? I am so going there!

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

      LOL Melody, Perouges loves visitors and will definitely love you!

  2. Cousin Julie September 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    Can’t wait to bake a batch of Sugar Pie! …… I’m sure your delicious slice was well deserved after a lot of great exercise walking and touring! What an enchanting village – thanks so much for sharing! The recipe looks like “shortbread meets brioche” …but I love your description “Creme Brulee Pizza!”…..Yum!.. Hmmmm…..note to self……see if hubby thinks building a wood fired oven in our backyard sounds like “fun”??? ……. 🙂

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

      Please build a wood fired oven, of course if you do, you might get tired of me always coming over to use it! LOL Julie, I know you could make this pie sing.

  3. Maggie Zeibak September 22, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Glad to see you and your mom out and about – the pics are outstanding!

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

      Thanks Maggie, wish you could have been there with us!

  4. Gail September 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    Can we sign up or is it too late?? Photos are beautiful. Was the pie as good as your sweet moms Apple pie? I can not wait to read about the rest of our special time together! You are missed.

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

      Gail, we will go together next time. Miss you too!

  5. sippitysup September 22, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    If only our trips could have been better times. I missed this place entirely. GREG

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

      There is so much to see and do in Provence that we will have to live vicariously thru each others travels until we can go to every wonderful town.

  6. CC September 22, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    I am SOOOO making this French treat! I can almost taste it! This beautiful little village reminds me so much of Riquewihr, which my mother and I visited in May. Your photos are all totally frame-worthy, Cathy! I hope I can visit one day! Thank you for this lovely post!

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

      Thanks Christina, coming from you that is a prized compliment. I am so happy we both can travel with our moms – such great memories.

      • CC September 30, 2016 at 11:28 am #

        Absolutely, Cathy! I just sent this post to my mum as I was telling her about this recipe! Merci!

  7. cheri Newell September 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    I seem to be traveling vicariously through you these days!!! So glad to see you and your gorgeous mom enjoying life together!!! The pictures are stunning!!! Not sure I will make it to this village… hoping to go back to the French Open next year! Do they serve Sugar Pie in Paris??? Don’t want to make it myself… but willing to travel and get it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 11:12 pm #

      Thanks Cheri. I don’t know if they serve sugar pie in Paris, but I am sure you can find some other sweet sensation there. 🙂

  8. Elaine September 22, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    Having been in Perouges with you, Cathy, I’m very impressed with how beautifully you’ve captured the essence of this beautiful village. And yes, the “cream brûlée pizza” is yummy, perfectly complimented by the sparkling wine. I’ll definitely bake the treat for my family and friends. Thanks for the memories, Cathy!

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

      Thanks Elaine, I miss you! Such a beautiful place is enjoyed even more when spent with friends like you.

  9. Nan September 22, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    My kind of place! What a rare treat to share with your Mom. Enjoy!

    • Cathy Arkle September 22, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

      It was very special, you would have really enjoyed it as well Nan.

  10. Lentil Breakdown September 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    Que magnifique!

  11. Patricia@FreshFoodinaFlash September 23, 2016 at 6:05 am #

    I feel like I’ve been transported. Thank you for sharing this beautiful treasure. I’m definitely trying out Sugar Pie in our outdoor oven at Holy Nativity, which goes to 800 degrees. Cool idea.

    • Cathy Arkle September 24, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

      That oven will be perfect to really capture the essence of this unique pie. Let me know how it goes.

  12. nusrat2010 September 23, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Thank you for walking me through the enchanting village! Enjoyed those romantic, charming old-timey streets, street lamps, hotels, houses… and the face of the sugar pie! Sweeeeeeet.

    Thanks a billion for digging the recipe for us. Definitely I’d give it a try soon. Who would let go the chance of savoring a sweet piece of medieval France?!

    • Cathy Arkle September 24, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

      So happy you enjoyed it Nusrat! Let me know how it goes if you make it. I do hope you can see this charming village some day.

  13. Arnaud Trache September 27, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    There are so many other French things you’d have to discover and share here Cathy…. just let us know when you’re back to France!

    • Cathy Arkle September 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

      Thanks Arnaud, France has so many wonderful things to capture and experience. I look forward to returning soon. 🙂

  14. myimpkitchen September 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    WOW! That’s such a gorgeous village and what a wonderful story and recipe! You make me want to hop on a plane and travel to beautiful places!!

    • Cathy Arkle September 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

      Thank you, it was such a treat to be in such a beautiful place. Hope you get there someday!

  15. Sue @ It's Okay to Eat the Cupcake October 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

    What a beautiful village – I’ll bet it was difficult to leave! I’m going to have to try the Sugar Pie, it looks delectable!

    • Cathy Arkle November 25, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

      Thanks Sue. It was difficult to leave, but there were so many other wonderful places to visit as well.

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