For last year’s About Thanksgiving Pie Showdown, I made a sweet potato pie that earned lukewarm reviews from the team. (I would like to blame the recipe, but there’s a large chance the issue was user error.)
So when Editor Kelsey Davis asked me if I’d like to make another pie for this month’s issue of the magazine, I saw a chance to redeem myself. And I am proud to say I did.
This butterscotch pie is perfect to take to your Thanksgiving or just to make some time this fall. It’s got enough steps to make you feel like you’ve conquered a more advanced recipe, and it’s delicious.
The crust is made of crushed Biscoff cookies (the kind you get when you fly Delta) and bakes in the oven for 10 minutes. This is the most I’ve ever liked Biscoff cookies, so if they’re not your favorite, don’t give up on this recipe.
Making the pie is a somewhat complicated three-step process that requires a lot of attention, even though it doesn’t take much time. I made mine while my brand new puppy hung out in the kitchen with me, and that is not a strategy I recommend.
For example: The sugar and water mixture that becomes your butterscotch base has to be pulled off the heat as soon as it turns brown. Even though the recipe warned this would take 10 minutes, mine changed color after about half that time. Luckily, I caught it instead of relying on the timer I’d set, but it still tasted slightly too burnt on its own for my liking. You just have to watch it.
I did not have the deep-dish pie pan that was recommended for this recipe. If you also do not, it’s not a big deal. Just fill the pie as full as you can and then pour the rest of the custard into a glass, like fancy homemade pudding, and save some of your whipped cream for topping.
I let my pie set up in the fridge for nearly two days before serving it, and it did not get soggy.
The last step before serving is to make a homemade whipped cream. I measured out a cup of heavy whipping cream, but I just eyeballed the powdered sugar and then tasted it to make sure it was sweet enough. I also left out the vanilla because I didn’t think it needed it.
You can top your pie with extra cookies, if you’ve got them, or you can do what I did and sprinkle some butterscotch chips on top to really drive home the theme.
I shared the pie with my boyfriend’s parents when they came to meet our dog. My boyfriend’s mom told me her grandmother used to make a butterscotch pie from scratch that she loved. After she tried mine, she said she liked it because it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, and she took a piece home, so this is a recipe I will be saving.
For the cookie crust:
32 Speculoos / Biscoff cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Crushed Speculoos / Biscoff cookies, for garnish, if desired
Make the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the Speculoos cookies until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Use the bottom of a measuring cup, glass or ramekin to press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the filling:
1. Whisk the egg yolks together in a large heatproof bowl until smooth.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water. Gently stir with a silicone spatula. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally without stirring, until the mixture turns a dark amber color, about 10 minutes total.
3. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in the heavy cream. Set aside.
4. In medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add half of the milk, whisking to combine. Whisk in the remaining milk. Set over medium-
high heat, whisking often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the butterscotch mixture.
5. Gradually pour about a quarter of the hot liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Add another quarter of the hot mixture to the eggs, whisking. Slowly transfer the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened like pudding.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute to encourage the mixture to cool. Pour through a mesh sieve into the prepared crust to remove any lumps.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to set. At this point, the pie can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to two days.
Make the topping:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken. Add in the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
2. Spread over the pie. Garnish with Speculoos crumbs, if desired. Serve.