Sunday, April 4, 2010

Butterscotch Pie

It's Easter and holiday times mean family coming together. This year, my parents are coming for lunch, and in memory of my grandmother, I made butterscotch pie for dessert.

Butterscotch pie is my dad's favorite dessert. He told me that he remembers as a young boy sitting in the kitchen while his mother fussed around the stove trying to get the butterscotch custard to set just right. The only people who made this pie to my dad's liking were my grandmother and my Aunt Juanita. Both of these wonderful ladies have passed away and gone to be with the Lord. I know that I cannot compare to either of these ladies' cooking ability. But, I am thankful that my cousin Shannon shared this family recipe with me, and it warms my heart to have a copy of this recipe in my Aunt Juanita's handwriting. The first time I used Juanita's recipe, my dad said that although the flavor was close, my grandma used to use brown sugar in the meringue. So, now I make this recipe with a brown sugar meringue. At Thanksgiving, Dad said it was just like grandma's. (I don't actually believe him, but he is the greatest dad in the whole world. So, I'll keep making this pie and remembering my grandma.)

You'll Need:
1 pre-baked pie crust
3 eggs separated
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/8 tsp. salt
5 rounded tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla (1 for meringue and 1 for custard)
6 tablespoons brown sugar (for meringue)

Start by separating the eggs. I went ahead and put the whites into the bowl for my mixer, and I put the yolks directly into top pan for the double boiler. Set aside whites for later. Whisk to break up the yolks. Mix in salt, then milk, then flour, then brown sugar.

Note: My grandmother only used Imperial brand brown sugar. I remember her buying a different brand one time for her cookies and the results were simply not the same. So, I only use Imperial brand sugar for this recipe as well.

You'll want to go ahead and put the butter into the pan as well. Then move the pan over on top of the boiling water in the bottom part of your double boiler. It will look something like this.

This is the tricky part. Just keep stirring while the bottom part boils away. As the mixture heats up it will look smoother and smoother. Just keep stirring. Then the mixture will take on the color of caramel. That means you are getting closer to being done. Just keep stirring. The tricky part of this recipe is if you remove it from the stove too soon, you will have butterscotch soup instead of butterscotch pie. (Just being thick enough to coat the back of a spoon is NOT thick enough.) You want the custard to be almost as thick as you expect the final chilled custard to be before you remove it from the stove. The custard does not thicken much after you remove it from the stove. So, just keep stirring until you get it thick enough. Then remove it from the stove and allow to cool for a few minutes on the counter. Next stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla before pouring it into your pre-baked pie crust.

Time to make the meringue. Remember those egg whites you set aside earlier? Beat these with your mixer until you get stiff peaks Then add 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix again until incorporated.

Spread the meringue across the top of the pie. For this, I generally scoop out several large spoonfuls across the pie then use a spatula to spread them together across the pie like below.

Next, place the pie in a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

I haven't told my family about this blog yet, but eventually I will. So, for my family, here is the original recipe in Aunt Juanita's handwriting. (Thanks, Shannon!)

1 comment:

  1. This is great, Emma! I've always wondered how to make this pie. Gonna have to try it soon!