The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Secret Recipe Butterscotch Pie
My Great Grandma Flora shared her pie recipes and secrets with my Grandma Barbra, who then taught them all to me. Over the years, I have been working on my pie making skills but still feel my skills are not up to par with that of either of my Grandma’s. Some of my favorite pies to make are sugar cream pie, chocolate pie, lemon pie, brownie pie and this butterscotch pie, which actually started out as my “Banana Butterscotch Pie”. I remember my Grandma Barbra loving butterscotch, so I would make this pie for her regularly. I also would take this pie to my friends, the Fowlers, at Glen Oaks, who would love it and talk about how rich it was. Yes, this pie is pretty rich, so you may want to cut and serve these pieces in the smaller fashion.
I have, over the years, gotten emails and messages asking me what the difference is between caramel and butterscotch. The main difference is that caramel is made with white granulated sugar, while butterscotch is made using brown sugar. At the most basic level, caramel is actually just white granulated sugar that is cooked until brown. Butterscotch, however, is brown sugar and butter that is cooked together. They have different flavor profiles for sure and it seems that over the years, butterscotch, has fallen out of popularity but I cannot figure out why. Butterscotch, to me, has almost more of a complex flavor that just caramel. I love both flavors and can appreciate them in their own versions as well as when paired with other flavors. Which do you like? Send me a message and let me know if you like one or the other or both and why.
Butterscotch Pie with Meringue
This needs to be chilled for several hours before serving. Add sliced bananas to the filling for a banana butterscotch filling. Leave the meringue off and top with whipped cream, if desired. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
For the crust…
1 ¾ cups white all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling…
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup white all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
For the meringue…
3 large egg whites
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons white granulated sugar
Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. In a medium sized bowl, combine the white all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, whole milk, white granulated sugar and salt with a fork until combined. Pour out into the prepared pie pan and press evenly around the pan. Prick with a fork and bake in preheated oven for 16 minutes. Remove and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the filling by combining the packed light brown sugar, white all-purpose flour and salt in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Cook this together for about 3 minutes.
Whisk in the whole milk and continue cooking until the mixture is slightly thickened.
Add a little of the hot filling mixture to the egg yolks, to temper them, before adding into the filling mixture, whisking to combine and continue cooking for 3 minutes, beating well.
Remove from the heat and add in the pure vanilla extract and diced unsalted butter. Whisk together well until the butter is melted and combined into the filling.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth out the top.
Make the meringue by adding the large egg whites, pure vanilla extract and cream of tartar to a bowl. Using a whisk, by arm or machine attachment, beat until stiff peaks form. While beating, gradually add in the white granulated sugar. Beat an additional 2 minutes.
Place the meringue evenly across the top of the pie. Bake, in preheated oven, 17 minutes, or until the meringue is brown. Watch carefully not to burn or blacken the meringue.
Remove, place into the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours before cutting and enjoying.
Ask and Answer: Pamela M. from New Castle would like to know if the “3-ingredient peanut butter cookie” recipe that is floating around on Facebook is actually a legitimate recipe. The answer is, yes! Mix 1 cup smooth peanut butter, 1 cup white granulated sugar and 1 large egg. Roll into tablespoon size balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press down, lightly, with a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake in 350-degree oven for about 12 minutes. Remove, cool and serve as they are, or dollop with your favorite jam or jelly.