Making a rich, old-fashioned, butterscotch cream pie from scratch is not difficult and the results are worth the effort. This beloved, nostalgic pie is composed of a single crust pastry filled with a soft pudding and topped with whipped cream. Butterscotch derives its flavour from the combination of butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. The key to making a rich, flavourful butterscotch pie is taking the time to cook a smooth, hob pudding from scratch.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Pastry for a 9-inch pie
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups scalded milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup double cream
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Prepare the pie shell. A store-bought crust or homemade single crust pastry for a 9-inch pie may be used. Fit the crust into the pie plate and trim and flute the edge.
Prick the bottom and sides of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with a double layer of foil.
Bake at 232 degrees C for eight minutes. Remove the foil and bake five minutes more until light golden brown. Let the crust rest on a cooling rack.
Prepare the filling. For a pronounced butterscotch flavour, start by cooking 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/3 cup water in a large, heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and cook three to four minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
Beat two eggs until frothy in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup flour and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining brown sugar and mix well. While stirring constantly, slowly add 2 cups scalded milk in a steady stream and stir until incorporated.
Reheat cooked sugar mixture on low to return to a liquid state. Pour in the egg mixture while stirring constantly. Turn the heat up to medium low and cook and stir three to five minutes until thick and bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp vanilla.
Cool the pudding for 15 minutes then pour into prepared pie crust. Place the pie in the refrigerator for at least two hours until well-chilled.
Prepare the whipped cream topping when the pie is chilled. Place a mixing bowl and metal beaters or whisk in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill.
Combine the 1 cup cream, 3 tbsp icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Start whipping the cream on low speed, then gradually increase speed to high. Beat the cream to gently stiff peaks that stand up in the bowl and cling to the beaters or whisk.
Gently spread the whipped cream on the chilled pie and return to the refrigerator until serving time.
Tips and warnings
- To scald milk, heat the milk gently in a heavy saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan, just below the boiling point. Watch carefully, as milk boils over easily.
- To save time, the filling can be made without cooking brown sugar and water together. Omit the water and stir all of the brown sugar with the flour in the saucepan. Gradually stir in the milk and proceed with cooking the pudding.
- A metal mixing bowl is preferred to make the whipped cream. Older cream whips better than newer cream.
- Cook the pudding gently once the eggs have been added. Cooking too quickly over too high heat will result in cooked bits of egg in the filling.
- Do not over whip the cream. It will curdle and begin to turn into butter shortly after stiff peaks form.
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