This retro Southern Butterscotch Pie recipe is certain to become a family favorite. The buttery homemade custard filling has a velvet-like texture that's only enhanced by the fluffy meringue on top. It's a glorious sweet ending to any meal.
Easy Butterscotch Pie Recipe
Are you looking for the best butterscotch pie recipe? Look no further, I've got you! Butterscotch isn't a flavor that you see terribly often in baked goods. I'm not certain why, that's the case. If you're a fan of caramel as I am, it's an easy transition from caramel to butterscotch sweets. Desserts like butterscotch brownies and loaded butterscotch cookies are two recipes you'll find here in the MSSK recipe index that remain fan favorites. Rightly so, my family also loves them both. Butterscotch is nostalgic in many ways for me so, that moves it to the top of my favorites list.
How to Make the Best Butterscotch Pie Recipe
We love our pies in the South and this vintage pie recipe is somewhat iconic. You can make it with a frozen or homemade pie crust depending on how much time you have to spare. I've made it both ways and it never disappoints.
- What ingredients will I need to make a homemade Butterscotch Pie? You'll need a baked deep dish pie shell, butter, dark brown sugar, half and half, cornstarch, egg yolks and vanilla extract. To make your own pie crust from scratch checkout my recipe for Flaky Pie Crust here.
- Using dark brown sugar in the filling gives the pie depth of flavor.
- This pie is traditionally topped with a fluffy meringue. To make it, you'll need the reserved egg whites from the filling, cream of tarter and sugar to sweeten. You'll whip these together using a mixer until the egg whites expand and form soft peaks. What does cream of tarter do? It will help stabilize the meringue topping.
- A very important step in making the filling for this pie, is tempering the egg yolks before adding them to the saucepan. Tempering basically means the gentle warming of the beaten egg yolks with a small amount of the hot liquid. Doing it this way, will prevent the egg from scrambling when adding them to the rest of the warm ingredients in the saucepan.
- How do you remove lumps from Butterscotch Pie filling? Should any pesky lumps form in the butterscotch pudding, press the custard through a fine mesh sieve to smooth.
- When spreading the meringue on top of the pie, it's best to take it all the way to the edge of the filling and crust to "seal" the filling. This will protect it from becoming "weepy" when baking the meringue.
- Can you make Butterscotch Pie in advance? The custard is delicate, so it needs ample chill time to set. At least 8 hours or overnight is best.
- Store leftover pie butterscotch pie chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How To Make a Meringue for Butterscotch Pie
At times, I think people are intimidated by a meringue. There's really no need to be, it's simply sweetened egg whites that are beaten until fluffy. They consist of egg whites that are sweetened with granulated sugar and sometimes vanilla extract or other flavorings and a small amount of cream of tarter to stabilize. It's key to a successful meringue that not one speck of egg yolk be present. Carefully separate the two. You will need either a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip them thoroughly until they become fluffy and increase in volume. After spreading the meringue onto the pie, use the back of a spoon to create the tips repeating until you get the look you want. Meringues makes such a pretty topping for many different flavors of pie such as my recipe for Mile High Coconut Cream Pie or this Chocolate Meringue Pie from Lovefoodies.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust baked
- 4 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 cups half and half or cream divided
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 4 large egg yolks reserve whites for meringue
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 reserved egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tarter
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt together butter and brown sugar. Add 2 ½ cups half and half. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until mixture bubbles along the edge.
- Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ½ cup half and half, cornstarch and eggs. Add ¼ cup hot liquid to temper. Stream tempered eggs into saucepan, whisking constantly.
- Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, whisking constantly. Lower heat to simmer and allow to bubble while whisking for 1-2 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla. Mix well. Pour into crust. Chill while you make the meringue.
- To make meringue: Using an electric mixer beat together egg whites and cream of tarter until foamy. Gradually add sugar beating until stiff glossy peaks form.
- Remove pie from fridge, Spread meringue onto pie taking it to the edge. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pie for 10-12 minutes or until peaks are lightly browned, turning as needed for even browning. Chill for 8 hours or overnight before slicing.
- Store leftovers chilled.