If salted caramel and the greatest vanilla pudding of all time had a beautiful baby, it would be this dreamy Butterscotch Pie.
It’s cool, rich, creamy, and made entirely from scratch with a homemade butterscotch pudding brimming with notes of buttery, brown sugar. Contrary to most Butterscotch Pies, this one isn’t overly sweet, has just the right amount of salt, and is best described as downright addictive.
Homemade puddings might feel intimidating, but rest assured, with this recipe, you’ll conquer that Butterscotch pudding and the holiday dessert table.
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERSCOTCH PIE PUDDING
In most pie recipes, working with the pie crust comes first, and the pie filling comes second. However, when it comes to pudding pies, it really is best to get the pudding out of the way first! This is because it takes longer for the pudding to cool to room temperature than it does for the crust.
- Mix the sugar and egg yolks and mix until thickened and pale yellow.
- Add in cornstarch and salt and mix.
- Stream in warmed half-and-half and mix.
- Transfer the mix to a saucepan and cook on medium until thickened.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Set aside to cool completely.
To make the butterscotch pudding you will begin by beating together brown sugar and egg yolks. The ingredients blend into one another much easier if your eggs yolks are at room temperature!
Mix the two together at medium-high speed until thickened and pale yellow in color for about 3 to 4 minutes. You can use either a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a handheld mixer and a large bowl for this task.
Once the egg mixture is noticeably thicker and lighter in color, you will add in the cornstarch and the salt and mix until these ingredients are combined with the eggs and sugar. Note, cornstarch is an important ingredient in this butterscotch pie recipe; it serves as the thickener for your pudding!
The next ingredient going into the mixture is half-and-half. The half and half should be slightly warm. You can warm it up either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Just be sure that you do not add it to the bowl mixture cold or piping hot!
Room temperature ingredients are important when it comes to making a perfectly smooth filling for your butterscotch pie.
Slowly stream in the half and half, mixing it in on low speed. Once all of the half and half is added and is evenly distributed throughout the bowl mixture, add all of the contents of the bowl into a medium-sized or large saucepan and place it over medium heat.
Try not to get in a hurry and crank up the heat to medium-high heat! Cooking the pudding at too high of a temperature can result in a grainy pudding texture.
Allow the mixture to simmer, slowly whisking often until it has thickened. Whisking constantly is not necessary for a perfect Butterscotch Pie pudding, but you do need to pay close attention so that it won’t burn on the bottom of the pan!
This should take about 6 to 8 minutes total. And, also note, that the pudding will thicken slightly as it cools.
Now, remove it from the heat entirely and stir in the unsalted butter and vanilla extract. After about 20 minutes, cover the saucepan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the butterscotch pudding to cool completely.
HOW TO PREPARE THE CRUST FOR BUTTERSCOTCH PIE
- Place rolled-out pie crust in a pie plate dish, crimp edges, and poke holes across the bottom with a fork.
- Place in the freezer for 25 minutes (optional)
- Cover with aluminum foil and add pie weights.
- Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil and weights and bake for 20 minutes more.
- Set on a rack to cool completely.
- Add Butterscotch Pie filling and smooth over the top.
- Refrigerate the pie until completely chilled, about 4 hours.
In the meantime, get to work on your Butterscotch Pie crust! Buttery, flaky pie crust is hard to resist and therefore this butterscotch pie recipe calls for exactly that. However, if preferred, feel free to sub in graham cracker crust in the place of pie pastry!
If you are using homemade pie crust, flour a large work surface and then dust your pie dough with flour. Roll out the dough so that it is just about 12 inches in diameter and about an eighth of an inch thick.
Then, place your rolled-out pie dough in a 9-inch pie plate or dish and fold over any overhang and crimp decoratively, as desired.
Take a fork and poke holes all across the bottom of the pie crust. This will keep your pie crust from bubbling up as it bakes in the oven!
If your Butterscotch Pie crust is too warm as it goes into the oven, you may find that it slumps down and does not stay in place as it bakes. In order to avoid this, I like to pop my pie crust in the freezer for about 25 minutes before blind baking it.
This step is not always necessary, but I do find that it helps in achieving a top-notch-looking crust every time!
Once your pie crust is properly chilled, remove it from the freezer and gently press a sheet or two of nonstick aluminum foil against the bottom of the crust and up the sides of the crust to cover.
Next, add either pie weights or dried beans to the pie dish. In addition to poking holes across the pie crust with your fork, pie weights will also help your crust to bake flat and evenly across the bottom!
Bake the pie for 25 minutes at 375°F. Then, carefully remove the pie from the oven, lift away from the foil and the pie weights, and then return to the oven to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
The Butterscotch Pie crust is done once the bottom of the pie no longer appears wet or damp. If the edges of your pie crust begin to darken before the bottom has finished cooking through, add a pie shield or cover the edges with sheets of thin strips of aluminum foil.
Once the crust is baked through, you will need to set it aside on a cooling rack and allow the cross to cool completely.
Once both the pudding and pie crust are completely cooled, add the butterscotch pudding to the crust and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.
Cover your Butterscotch Pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, or until completely chilled.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BUTTERSCOTCH PIE
If you’re wondering what kind of glorious goodness should go on top of the pie, wonder no more.
If you don’t mind pulling out the cream of tartar and whipping up some egg whites and granulated sugar until soft peaks form, meringue just might be the topping for you and it’s actually a very common one for Butterscotch Pie.
You could also take the homemade whipped cream route and top it off with a drizzle of salted caramel and chopped pecans for an extra special (and easy) touch!
6 MORE PIE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
- No Bake Chocolate Pie
- Apple Crisp Pie
- No Bake Reeces Peanut Butter Pie
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Southern Pecan Pie
This Butterscotch Pie is cool, rich, creamy, and made entirely from scratch with a homemade butterscotch pudding brimming with notes of buttery, brown sugar! It's not overly sweet, it has just the right amount of salt, and is best described as downright addictive.
- Pie dough for single-crust pie
- 2 3/4 cups half and half, slightly warm
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a 9” pie dish.
If using homemade pie dough, flour a large work surface and dust the dough with flour. Begin rolling out the dough until it is about an 1/8 of an inch thick and 12 inches in diameter.
Transfer to the pie dish, fold over any overhang and crimp the edges, if desired. Using a fork, poke holes across the bottom and transfer to the freezer to firm up for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the freezer, gently press a sheet or two of aluminum foil against the dough, making sure the entire pie shell is covered. Add pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes.
Take the shell out of the oven and carefully remove foil and pie weights. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes more or until the crust is cooked through and golden-brown. Set aside on a cooling rack to completely cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together the sugar and egg yolks on medium-high speed until thickened and pale yellow in color, about 3-4 minutes. You could also use a large bowl and a handheld mixer.
With the mixer now on low, add the cornstarch and salt. Then, slowly stream in the half and half, mixing all the while.
Pour the contents of the stand mixer bowl back into the medium-sized saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer, slowly whisking until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Note, the pudding will thicken slightly as it cools.
Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla. After about 20 minutes, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside to cool completely, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.
Pour pudding into the fully-cooked pie shell and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours, or until chilled through. Serve and enjoy!