My husband has the biggest sweet tooth in the world, which sounds like a loaded statement, but it’s actually true. You’ll never find a bigger sweet tooth anywhere around. He specifically has a weakness for butterscotch— anything from pudding, ice cream, cookies, whatever it is it doesn’t matter as long as it’s butterscotch flavored. This Butterscotch Meringue Pie is dedicated to him because every now and then I feel like I should make him something so that he sticks around a little longer. I’m totally kidding, he’s not going anywhere. We’re currently in pie season and since we’ve already seen all of the incarnations of apple pie and pumpkin pie, I figured it was time to share something a little out of the box without getting too crazy. This is like a banana cream pie but with a caramel/dulce de leche type of twist…without bananas and with toasted meringue on top instead of whipped cream. Okay so perhaps not so much like banana cream pie but maybe within the same vein? Sort of? Just agree to make me feel better. Either way, it’s a delicious pie and a great way to spice up your autumn baking routine.
I’m skipping the step-by-step tutorial on the pie crust because I’ve made several pie crusts on the blog already and figured I didn’t need to show it. But if you need some more help you can check out this apple pie or this shepherd’s pie. Roll it out and then place into a pie plate and crimp to make it look nice.
**Tip: To prevent the pie crust from puffing up during baking, prick holes all throughout the crust with a fork. Then bake halfway through with parchment paper on top and pie weights or beans to weigh it down. Then carefully remove the parchment and weights and continue to bake until golden brown.**
To make the butterscotch pudding for the filling, melt the butter in a saucepan and then whisk in the flour. Cook for about 30 seconds to a minute, whisking nonstop, to cook off that raw flour taste.
Whisk in the brown sugar and cook for a minute or two longer. This will help develop that caramel flavor and color that butterscotch is known for.
Slowly whisk in the milk, adding it in a slowly steady stream while whisking, to ensure that the mixture is completely smooth. Cook over moderate heat until the mixture thickens.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and then slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the warmed milk mixture. Then add that back to the pot with the rest of the warmed milk mixture.
**Tip: This is called tempering the eggs which just means you’re bring the eggs to the same temperature as the warmed milk mixture. If you were to add the egg yolks right into the hot milk, they might curdle and cook and ruin your filling. By adding a bit of the warmed milk to the eggs and then adding them back to the saucepan, it will prevent any curdling.**Cook the mixture until it thickens and comes up to a boil. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from the stove and whisk in the vanilla and salt.
Pour the pudding into the baked and cooled pie crust. Then cover the top directly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
**Tip: Placing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pie, will prevent a film from forming!**
To make the meringue, beat the egg whites and cream of tarter until foamy and frothy. Then beat in the sugar, adding it in a slow and steady stream. Beat on high until stiff glossy peaks form. You’ll know it’s ready when you lift the beater and the egg whites can hold their form when held upside down.
Place the meringue on top of the chilled pie and then toast the top with a small kitchen torch. I love this small torch from Amazon, and use it all the time!
**Tip: If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can place the pie under a preheated broiler and broil the top until the meringue has browned. Just make sure to rotate the pie as much as possible so that it doesn’t burn or the meringue melt.**
You can serve the pie as is with just the toasted meringue and it would be amazing, but if you want to add a little flair, you can melt some butterscotch chips and then pour into a baking sheet, spreading out into an even layer. Freeze until firm and then break up into small pieces. You can insert the butterscotch pieces into the top of the meringue.
Slice and serve the pie immediately. The problem with this pie is that once the meringue is on top and toasted, a ticking clock has started. The meringue will start to deflate in the fridge and begin to melt. If you want to make this ahead of time, you can make the pie and chill until ready to serve. Then just before serving you can top with meringue and toast before slicing.
This is a great pie to make whenever you’re in a pie rut and want to switch things up a bit. If you want to add another element to it, try adding sliced bananas to the pie crust and then pour over the butterscotch pudding. Either way, you won’t regret making it!
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold ice water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup butterscotch chips
- To make the crust, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the butter and cut with a pastry blender or with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Add in as much water as needed until the dough comes together. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at last 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough into a large circle, about ¼ inch thick. Transfer to a 9 or 10-inch pie plate and trim off some of the excess pie dough before crimping all around. Poke holes throughout the crust, with a fork and place a sheet of parchment paper on top and pour in either pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 12 minutes, and then remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Remove the weights and parchment paper and continue to bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- To make the filling, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and slowly whisk in the milk, stirring until well combined. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth and then slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the milk mixture into the eggs. Then whisk the egg mixture back into the thickened milk. Return to the stovetop and cook, stirring often until the mixture thickens and comes up to a boil, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
- To make the topping, beat the egg whites and cream of tarter on high until foamy and frothy. While the mixer is running, slowly stream in the sugar, beating on high until stiff, glossy peaks form. Top the pie with the meringue and swirl it around with an offset spatula or butter knife. Using a kitchen torch, toast the meringue.
- Melt the butterscotch chips in a small bowl, in the microwave or double boiler, until smooth. Pour into a baking sheet and smooth out as much as possible. Place in the freezer until firm and then break up into small pieces. Insert into the top of the pie before serving.