Butterscotch pie

Joined Mar 3, 2008
Why do my butterscotch pies never hold their shape. I mean I might as well put it all in a dish and call it a pudding dessert. I used my gran's recipe and her's always looked lovely. It taste's great but...... I have tried cooking it longer, adding more eggs, more flour, less sugar, etc. I really don't care much about soft pies, but still I want to be able to make them. Actually the only soft pies I do make that turn out with shape holding is lemon and a chocolate one.
Joined Mar 3, 2008
the recipe for gran's butterscotch pie as follows

1 1/2 c Brown sugar
3/4 c water
3 eggs
4T flour
1/4 c cream
1 c milk
4T butter
1t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cream of tartar
4T granulated or powdered sugar

Add water to brown sugar in saucepan, bring to a boil and boil to make a thin syrup.
Seperate eggs. Stir flour into egg yolks and add milk gradually, stirring to prevent lumping
Add egg/flour/milk mixture to syrup and boil until thickens. Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla and salt. Pour into a baked pie shell.

beat egg whites until stiff
add cream of tartar and powdered sugar gradually while beating. Bake in 350 degreen oven until peaks are lightly browned.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
I'll make a stab at it: I'm no professional baker, but it seems like a lot of liquid for just four tablespoons of flour. Remember, sugar is a liquid ingredient.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Your biggest problem is the water. An additional pitfall is the size of your recipe -- which is on the large side. However, the size problem will resolve itself when you stiffen the custard sufficiently. Cut out the water; bump your milk quantity to 1-3/4 cups total. bump the flour to 5 tbs total -- that should be plenty.

Just forget the "thin syrup" thing. You don't need to make caramel for butter scotch, it's enough to dissolve the brown sugar.

Instead of your previous procedure, mix the dry ingredients in the top of a double boiler, then slowly add the milk and cream, and cook, over boiling water, stir often and cook until it thickens. Reduce the heat so the water in the double boiler is at a simmer. Cover the custard and let it cook for about ten minutes more.

Meanwhile beat the egg yolks.

After the ten minute cooking period has elapsed, remove the cover and stir the milk mixture. Pour off about about 1/2 cup of the cooked milk mixture into a measuring cup or small pitcher. Slowly add it into the eggs, whisking all the while to temper the eggs.

When the egg mixture is tempered, add it to the remaining hot milk mixture and cook (still over simmering water), stirring constantly, for another 1-1/2 minutes. Remove the top of the double boiler from the from the bottom, and set it on your counter.

Cut the butter into a few pieces, add them to the custard and stir them in. When they're fully incorporated, add the vanilla.

Let the custard cool -- at minimum until the side of the pan no longer feels hot to your hand -- and pour into your pie shell.

Make the meringue, top the pie with it, and finish as before.

Changing out the water, and cooking in a way which maximizes thickening should stiffen the custard considerably. However, butterscotch pie is never any stiffer than a stiff pudding -- because that's what it is. You'll have to reconcile yourself to its limitations.

Please let me know how this works for you.

Joined Mar 3, 2008
Wow, it was like a whole new recipe. I made it at about 4 this morning. Just now tried a piece. It holds a much better shape. However it does not taste near as scotchy as gran's recipe. We were tasting both side by side. I wonder what makes the difference and I wonder why when gran made her recipe, it turned out fine. Maybe she just wrote it down wrong. She really did not seem to follow recipes much.
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