Butterscotch Cream Pie

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01 Apr Butterscotch Cream Pie

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Some things taste better than they look. This beige-on-beige pie is far more decadent than its monochrome colour scheme suggests.

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But this is what Andrew wanted, so this is what he got.

Judging from the dearth of butterscotch cream pie recipes, this must be an old-fashioned treat that has fallen out of favour. I scoured every cookbook I own and found one — count ’em, ONE — recipe. It called for light brown sugar, which sounded odd, but having never made butterscotch pudding before, I followed the directions to the letter. Should have trusted my gut. The results were anemic, a touch too firm, and not very butterscotchy — if that’s a word. In all, not worthy of Andrew Week.

So, I tried again, ramping up the flavour with demerara sugar and replacing the half cup of evaporated milk with ordinary whole milk. The dairy substitution was more for practical reasons than culinary ones. Who has only 1/2 cup of evaporated milk on hand? And what do you do with the leftovers?

The demerara version was not only darker but had far more butterscotch flavour. While it was a bit creamier, it, too, was a tad firm. So once it cooled, I folded in some whipped cream.

Then I dumped all this butterscotchy goodness into a toasted graham crumb crust. Although the recipe called for a pastry shell, it has lost my confidence with the call for the wimpy light brown sugar. So I went with a demerara graham crust to complement the filling. Plop some whipped cream on top, and neutral never tasted so good.

4PiesPhotos

Yes, this is the kind of dessert to eat by candle light. But one bite and you won’t care that it looks like putty on your plate.

Butterscotch Cream Pie
Printable Recipe

Makes 1 10-inch deep dish pie

Graham crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar, lightly packed
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  1. Mix together crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well blended.
  2. Press firmly into a 10-inch deep dish pie plate.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Place on rack and allow to cool before filling.

Butterscotch Filling

  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup demerara sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  1. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup of whole milk, whisking to ensure there are no lumps.
  2. Whisk in egg yolks and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter and sugar. Gently bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly whisk in the remaining 2 cups whole milk.
  5. Slowly whisk in the yolk and cornstarch mixture.
  6. Whisk continually until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  7. Stir in vanilla.
  8. Cool pudding to room temperature by pouring it into a shallow pan or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface. This prevents a skin from forming. Cooling takes about an hour.
  9. When pudding is cooled, whip cream until firm. Gently fold whipped cream into the pudding mixture.
  10. Pour filling into the pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the filling.
  11. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. (I did this the night before.)

Topping

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Whip cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form.
  2. Add vanilla and beat until firm. (Don’t over whip or you’ll have a batch of very sweet and over-priced butter to deal with).
  3. Spread over pie filling and serve.

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No Comments
  • Divawrites
    Posted at 13:34h, 01 April Reply

    This made me miss my maternal grandma. She made butterscotch pies by the bucketful, and never had a recipe. I have a reasonable facsimile of hers written down, but directions include “heaping wooden spoons” of flour, brown sugar…which she cooked in her multi- purpose cast iron frying pan…the same one she beat off the drug dealer with. (true story)

    Hmm, might need to be making some pie for dinner.

  • Babette
    Posted at 14:08h, 01 April Reply

    Nice height on the filling. After developing 6 recipes and cooking pies countless times and being driven to TEARS, I know a good filling when I sees one. Sounds tasty.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 14:26h, 01 April Reply

    This pie looks delicoius! I love demerara sugar, and I’d take anything butterscotch flavoured, over chocolate, any day! You are one lucky guy Andrew.

    P.S. Happy Birthday Andrew.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:55h, 01 April Reply

    DivaLisa, if you’re trying to recreate your grandmother’s pie, I wouldn’t mix in the whipped cream. LOVE the story about beating off the drug dealer. You’ll have to share that with me sometime.

    Babette, thanks for the encouragement. I, too, have been driven to tears by pie, but it’s usually the pastry that does me in.

    Debbie, while I usually put dark chocolate first, I do have a weakness for butterscotch. My grandmother used to put butterscotch sauce on chocolate ice cream — best combo EVER.

  • One of the Woodside Joneses
    Posted at 16:37h, 01 April Reply

    mmm.

    3 things:

    1. Diva: my grandmother ALSO made her butterscotch in cast iron. I think it does something to the sugar because it always tasted better this way.

    2. demerara? Maybe it’s beside the panko.

    3. in the method, you forgot ‘lick the plastic wrap after you remove’

    jill

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:51h, 01 April Reply

    Jill, you’re toooo funny. How did you know I licked the plastic wrap?

    Demerara is with the brown sugar. If we have it in Guelph, you have it in the Big Smoke.

    Now that you and Diva mention the cast iron skillet, I’m dying to try this again. But I’ve had too many desserts lately.

  • Elyse
    Posted at 19:37h, 01 April Reply

    This dessert doesn’t even look homely to me. It looks pure delicious. The sign of a good pie is one topped with a fabulous whipped cream and piled high. I’m so glad you straightened out the butterscotch filling part. It looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 00:48h, 04 April Reply

    This is one of my family’s favourites! We go for meringue and a flaky lard crust but otherwise, you and your pie would be very welcome at any McCauley function!

    I love the texture of your filling. My last one (made just two weeks ago) was too thin. It didn’t cut well. I will try your filling very soon – thanks!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 12:23h, 04 April Reply

    Elyse, thanks! It was actually a pretty ugly pie. But it tasted good.

    Dana, if you like it thick, don’t stir in the extra whipped cream. I also chilled the pie thoroughly. You could always stir in some meringue if you don’t have cream. I just wanted to lighten the filling a bit since I’ve got a texture issue with pudding.

  • basicallybaked
    Posted at 09:58h, 25 May Reply

    I clicked here because I searched for a recipe for Chocolate Butterscotch Pie, but I’ll come back because I like your blog!
    I love your sub heading, Real Life. Real Food. Ain’t Always Pretty.

    So True!!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 21:58h, 26 May Reply

    Chocolate butterscotch pie?! Why didn’t I think of that? I can see stirring in a bit of melted chocolate. If you do a variation, let me know. I think this topic needs more research done on it!

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