You need butterscotch pie. You just need one slice. It will make your day.
My kids were skeptical when I made this. I field questions like: What is butterscotch? Is it served with ice cream?
Butterscotch pie is a pudding-type pie (like Chocolate Cream Pie) and no, it is not served with ice cream. The kids were still on the fence about it. Until they tried it. And then they wanted more. The pie was gone in 24 hours.
It was my 40th birthday recently (I tell everyone that I'm actually 28, so please keep my real age a secret) and I decided that instead of cake, I wanted birthday pie. Because I would rather eat pie than cake any day of the week. I have a serious weakness for pie. I could have made any kind of pie, but I chose this one because it reminds me of home. Grandma Clinger is not my grandmother. She's my stepsister and stepbrother's grandmother. But I remember Grandma Clinger and I remember her making this pie for my stepdad, since was his favorite. I guess reaching 40 (um, 28) made me a little sentimental this year.
Plus, I also have a serious weakness for family recipes, especially ones from grandmothers. So... I made butterscotch pie. It was a rainy day when I made it and my meringue did not get as lofty as I had hoped. But honestly, the family didn't care. They ate it anyway.
Grandma Clinger's Butterscotch Pie
Yield: 1 9-inch pie
Single Pie Crust:
Make the Crust:
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds. Add the butter and pulse for 20-30 seconds until it resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running, add the water through the top. Pulse until the dough starts to come together. Place the dough onto the counter and press into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Gently place the dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim off the excess edges to leave a 1 inch overhang. Tuck the edges under and decoratively crimp the crust. Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place a large piece of foil in the pie crust. Fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights, making sure it reaches the sids of the crust (this helps prevent it from shrinking down). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil and dried beans/rice/pie weights. Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF. Bake the crust for an additional 15 minutes. Cool pie crust completely on a wire rack.
Make the Pie Filling:
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until it becomes a thick syrup. Be careful not to burn it. In a small bowl, stir together a 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch to make a slurry. Stir in the rest of the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the brown sugar syrup. Cook for 5 minutes over medium low heat.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk slightly to break them up. To temper the egg yolks, whisk in a 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan with the rest of the milk. Cook the mixture over medium heat until thick, about 2-5 minutes. It should look like pudding. The mixture is thickened when it starts to bubble/boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the surface of the filling with wax paper. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes; then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before making the meringue.
Finish the Pie:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar. Whip the whites until they form stiff peaks and are glossy.
Spread the egg whites over the filling, making sure it reaches the edges of the crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Refrigerate the pie until ready to serve.
*Eggs are best separated when they are cold. Also, the egg whites will whip up better when they are at room temperature.