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Butterscotch Pie - Best of Both World's Butterscotch Pie
How to Make Vanilla Extract
Not long ago a buddy shared his grandmother's heirloom Butterscotch Pie recipe with me. And I ADORE heirloom recipes - they can't be beat. There's nothing more comforting or wonderful - or evocative of fabulous memories - than repeating the dishes our mothers and grandmothers made. And most of the time I think these recipes are 'off limits'. They don't need to be messed with - many of them are now cooked for special occasions or only once in a while, so they need to stand as the special treats they are. Butterscotch is one of the best of those - brown sugar and butter cooked together until caramelized, and turned into a pudding filling for pie. Wow.
In this case however, my buddy is trying to lose weight. We're going to long term, steady changes in his diet and lifestyle, and one of the things I'd like help him with are his recipes. So I wanted to 'tweak' the aspects of this desert to make it something that fits into his new eating habits more readily. It took some research and playing around in the kitchen, but I think this is spot on.
I'll include both versions - I really am a firm believer in holding on to our food traditions. And Granny Bert was a Southern Girl who knew how to work with few ingredients to get awesome results. Yet part of that is also not losing dishes entirely because they may not be the best - health-wise, that is. So here we go - the best of both worlds!
Now - one thing. Although the new version is certainly lightened up - it's by no means 'diet' food. Lighter does not mean you have free reign to eat the whole pie in one sitting. Spread it out over a few days - it'll keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days as long as it's very cold and well wrapped.
Granny Bert's Butterscotch Pie
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbs. Butter
2 cups milk
6 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
few grains of salt
Mix sugar and butter in a double boiler. Stir flour to a smooth paste with a little cold milk - add remaining milk to sugar and stir in flour mixture. Beat egg yolks with salt and stir in. Cook until thick. Add vanilla. Then put in a pie crust and let cool to room temp.
For portion control...
Use a three inch biscuit cutter to cut your pastry dough into circles. Press them gently down into large muffin tins, and bake them off just as you would a full size pastry. Voila! You've already got individually sized deserts, so it's far less tempting to each a giant slice o'pie and throw yoursef off track!
- One recipe All Butter Pie Crust
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 cup evaporated low-fat milk, divided
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks, look for Egglands Best, they're lower in fat and cholesterol
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the real thing!)
- Topping - whipped cream, whipped topping or meringue
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Prepare the crust as the recipe calls, all the way through rolling it out and placing it in the bottom of a nine inch pie pan. Chill the pie crust in the pans for about ten minutes before baking.
- Blind bake the crust: cover the crust with a sheet of aluminum foil, gently tamping it into the curve of the crust. You can then use either pie weights, or a couple handfuls of dried beans, and bake at 400F for about twenty minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights or beans, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until fully done and golden brown.
- Set cooked pie crust on a rack to cool completely while you make the filling.
- Pace a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
- Melt butter in pan, and add the brown sugar. Stir well cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture looks crumbly and damp. Stir constantly!
- Add 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk, a tablespoon or so at a time, stirring well after each addition. Once you've added 1/4 cup, bring to a boil, allow it to boil for 30 seconds, and remove it from the heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining evaporated milk, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the 1% milk until the mixture begins to just bubble around the edges, but doesn't boil. Remove milk from the heat, and gradually add in the evaporated milk/egg mixture. Go slowly and whisk constantly.
- Return the milk/evaporated milk mixture to the heat, and cook for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. It will thicken a good bit - resembling a heavy pudding. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- Place pan in a bowl filled with ice, stirring occasionally, until it cools to room temperature. Spoon cooled filling into the prepared crust. Cover tightly - pressing plastic wrap gently onto the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely, for at least 6 hours, although overnight is better.
- Top with either whipped cream (see note) or meringe just before serving.
Note: The topping, for me, falls into the category of either the real thing or nothing. In my opinion the fat free whipped toppings are nasty, and I'd rather not waste any of my calorie allowance on them, even if they are fat free. I don't like 'diet' foods - most just taste bad. So my first choice would be a *tiny* bit of the real thing - go ahead and use a little whipped cream. Just be prudent. This whole dish is a reward after all.
If you are a topping fanatic (and I can understand that), then my next best choice would be meringue. This is relatively low-calorie to begin with, and also fat free. But it tastes GOOD. Simply whip egg whites with a pinch of cream of tarter and a few tablespoons of sugar until you get stiff peaks. Spread this on the cold pie, and run it under a broiler for a few minutes until the peaks are all nicely beautiful, golden and brown.
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Eat real food! Combining classic technique with everyday ingredients for spectacular results!