Butterscotch Pie II

Some time ago, I made butterscotch pie, and my filling didn’t set well. I suspect that I didn’t cook it long enough, but then again, I was pretty much a pie-baking amateur at the time. I’m pleased to report that this recipe from Trisha Yearwood at Food Network delivered a wonderful, fully set filling.

While Trisha’s recipe calls for a meringue, I decided to leave the meringue out; you can use your three leftover egg whites to make meringue cookies or almond clouds (adapting the recipe to account for the extra whites in each of those recipes), or make a meringue for your pie if you like. Personally, I’m more of a whipped cream/whipped topping-on-pie kind of gal, but whatever floats your boat. I also have to admit that I used a store-bought pie crust for this, but as I’ve mentioned in previous pie posts, sometimes you just want to focus on your filling, and such was the case with this pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Pre-bake pie crust and allow to cool completely before filling.

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils; continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and turns darker in color. Remove from heat; reserve 1 tablespoon milk and slowly pour remaining milk into the sugar mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the reserved 1 tablespoon milk, cornstarch, egg yolks, and vanilla extract; whisk together until smooth. Return the sugar/milk mixture to medium heat and add the cornstarch mixture, stirring well to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens; Trisha’s recipe says this takes 3 minutes, but my filling took at least 10 minutes to get thick. Large bubbles will appear in the pan when your filling is ready.

Pour filling into baked pie shell and immediately place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the filling. Refrigerate until the filling is set, about 4 hours or overnight.

Remove plastic wrap and top with whipped cream or whipped topping before serving.

Store in the refrigerator.

 

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.

Ingredients

  • 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.