Originally from Classic Home Desserts, this is one of my favorite recipes for Butterscotch Meringue Pie. A few things I’ve learned over time are to a) use whole milk b) make sure to cook the filling for 3 minutes after it boils to prevent runniness and c) make sure you cream of tartar is fresh and hasn’t absorbed any odors.
Here’s an old picture of the pie. The most recent is the one above. I really like this version of Butterscotch Pie because the ingredients are so basic that I almost always have them around. The meringue calls for 3 egg whites, but if you’d like a bigger and fluffier meringue, you can use 4 and increase the sugar. I added that to the notes.
If you like the idea of Butterscotch Pie but don’t want to bother with meringue, here’s a recipe for Butterscotch Cream Pie.
- 3 large egg yolks room temp
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk warmed slightly in microwave
- 1 big pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter salted European style if possible
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (100 grams)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (100 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 9 inch pie crust, baked
- 3 large egg whites** room temp
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Have all meringue ingredients measured out and ready to go - -you’ll need to make it quickly.
- Whisk the 3 egg yolks together in a bowl. In a second bowl, whisk flour with half of the warm milk, until smooth. Whisk the beaten egg yolks and the salt into the milk/flour mixture, then whisk in the remaining cup of milk. Set aside.
- Place the butter in a saucepan and soften it a little over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk or stir for about 2 minutes or until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. Whisk the milk mixture into the saucepan. Continue whisking constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles -- this should only take 2-3 minutes. After big bubbles start to form, continue whisking for another 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the hot filling into the crust. Make meringue quickly so that you can put it on the filling while it’s hot (helps cook underside of the meringue).
- Make meringue. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks just begin to form. Beat in the vanilla, then slowly beat in the sugar and continue doing so until mixture is thick and fluffy. Scrape over hot filling. Set pie on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Let pie cool at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours or until set.