When I posted my first recipe in October of 2015, I didn’t know if I’d make it two months as a blogger, let alone two years!
Thank you for reading my posts, following me on social media, sharing my work, and most importantly, making my recipes! Your support makes running this little site more fun than work—I can’t wait to see what we bake up in year three 💗 But before we get to that, let’s finish out this second year with Butterscotch Cream Pie.
Something happens around this time every year where I totally lose my ability to think about anything but pie. It’s fall in New York City, y’all—the light is golden, the leaves are turning, it’s…77 degrees.
I’ve got plenty of traditional pastry crust pies coming your way next month (because Thanksgiving!), but on what is probably, hopefully one of the last warmish days we’ll have for a while (please, please, please let it be so), I’m sharing a pie that is nearly-no-bake, bursting with caramelized brown sugar flavor, and best served ice cold.
Butterscotch. Cream. Pie.
…unless you cut it with jagged pieces of saltine cracker. And then mix that combination with dark brown sugar and melted butter. And press it into a pie plate. And bake it ‘til it gets a little toasty. This is definitely one for the sweet & salty obsessed 🙋
It gets better. We’re going to fill that crust with homemade butterscotch pudding! I took the liberty of testing eight different iterations of butterscotch pudding, and this version is everything I hoped for and more. It’s smooth and creamy and straightforward and you don’t need a candy thermometer to make it. Oh, and it tastes like butterscotch and not just brown sugar…which wouldn’t be anything to complain about, but that’s not what we’re going for today.
Making butterscotch pudding is super simple, but it’s a little different from the pudding fillings you’ll find in my Chocolate and Coconut Cream Pies. One thing it definitely has in common with them? It cannot be left alone. Do not step away. Do not stop whisking. Make sure all your ingredients are prepared and within arm’s reach because once you start making pudding, you’re in it for the long haul. Or like fifteen minutes.
My butterscotch pudding starts with bringing dark brown sugar, light corn syrup (not the same as high fructose corn syrup!), water, and lemon juice to a bubble. This melts the sugar, keeping the finished pudding from being grainy, and gives us that caramelized brown sugar flavor that makes butterscotch so dang good.
Let it boil for a minute, whisking constantly all the time, before turning the heat to low and adding some cornstarch and a teaspoon of salt. Then slowly and carefully whisk in three cups of whole milk. This will cause the molten sugar to bubble up somewhat dramatically, but don’t panic! Just keep whisking. Just keep whisking.
From there, the pudding is pretty straightforward. Bring the milk mixture to a boil, whisk half of it into some beaten egg yolks, bring that to a boil, and then remove everything from the heat and stir in some butter and vanilla. For whatever reason, this pudding is more prone to lumps that any others I’ve made. I highly recommend passing it through a sieve (or a clean wire mesh colander) before pouring the filling into the pie crust.
Press plastic wrap to the top of the pudding and then chill the pie for a few hours. You want it super cold. Remove the plastic wrap, whip some cream, and spread it all over the surface of the pie.
Y’all, it doesn’t get much better than this. Butterscotch Cream Pie is cold, creamy, sweet, full of buttery, dark brown sugary butterscotch flavor, and has a salty punch from that graham and saltine crust. Aside from a dog, a good man, and a job where I can wear stretchy pants everyday, it’s basically everything I want in life.
Looking for more butterscotch? Or more pie? Try my Salted Butterscotch Pie—it’s the best of both worlds.
Butterscotch Cream Pie
makes 1 9-inch pie
3 ounces saltine crackers (about 30 crackers/most of a sleeve)
5 full sheets honey graham crackers
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.
Place saltines and graham crackers in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Close the bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces. Pour saltine/graham cracker mix to a medium mixing bowl and stir in dark brown sugar. Add melted butter and fold to coat. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Use a measuring cup to help pack the mixture down. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.
Combine dark brown sugar, light corn syrup, water, and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring to a bubble over medium-high heat. Let boil one minute before turning heat to low. Do not burn. Whisk in cornstarch and salt. Stir in milk—mixture may boil up violently, but just keep whisking. Return heat to medium-high and continue whisking until mixture thickens and boils for one minute. Remove from heat.
Temper the egg yolks. Whisking the yolks constantly, slowly pour in half of the molten mixture until completely combined. Add egg yolk mixture to the pot and turn heat back up to medium-high. Continue to whisk until mixture boils for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and vanilla. Mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
Push filling through a sieve to remove any lumps. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and chill for at least six hours or overnight.
Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream.
Serve immediately. Leftover pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.