Butterscotch Pie

butterscotch pieCooking pie filling is a delicate business. Most recipes instruct you to cook your ingredients “until thickened and bubbly” before tempering with the egg yolks. This is a very subjective endeavor, when you think about it. Just how thick and bubbly is thick and bubbly enough, really?

I suspect that I under-cooked my filling for this pie, because it is far less solid than the filling in my vanilla cream pie from a few weeks back. It’s also far less butterscotch-like than I expected…not that it wasn’t very tasty.

Next time, I’ll use dark brown sugar, which in hindsight was probably what the author meant when they wrote “brown sugar” in the recipe. I’ll also cook the filling for a few more minutes, until thicker and bubblier, before tempering the eggs.


  • 1 pie crust
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

To pre-bake the crust:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with crust, trim edges, and prick bottom with a fork. Line crust with parchment and fill with dried beans or pie weights; bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans/weights and parchment and continue baking for another 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Allow crust to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling:

Place egg yolks in a large glass measuring cup and beat lightly; set aside. Using a measuring cup will make it easier to pour the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the pan of filling later.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together flour, brown sugar, and milk until very well combined. Cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring frequently. Once bubbles form, cook and stir 1 minute more.

Remove from heat and slowly pour about 1 cup of the filling mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper. Pour egg yolk mixture back into the pan of hot filling and bring to a very gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract until very well combined.

Pour filling into cooled pre-baked crust and gently press plastic wrap on the top of the filling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving; my pie was refrigerated overnight.



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