Butterscotch Pie

If your idea of butterscotch involves any type of bright yellow candy that is wrapped in cellophane, you are in for shock….REAL butterscotch tastes good!  Amazingly good!  This butterscotch pie is so good that we refuse to make it for group parties and potlucks.  Why? Because we want as much of it for ourselves as possible.  Not good for the waistline, but so good for the soul.

Occasionally as kids, we girls could sweet talk Mom into making a double batch of the pudding so we could have some to eat and still have plenty for the pie. In retrospect, she probably didn’t like to wait for the pie either – but she had us convinced that she was “giving in” and making extra pudding.  We can imagine her trying hard to keep a straight face as she’d say, “Well [sigh], I guess I could…”  Well played, Mom. Well played.  ~Robin and  Tracy

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Ingredients for pie filling: 

4 T. butter

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1/3 c. flour

2 c. whole milk

3 egg yolks (slightly beaten) – save whites for meringue

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Ingredients for meringue:

4 egg whites (worth it to use one more egg so you don’t risk being short on meringue)

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cream of tartar

½ c. sugar

 

Other ingredients:

The usual baking supplies for your favorite pie crust (or just follow package directions if using store-bought crust; be sure to set it out to thaw, if frozen)

 

Instructions:

Bake your pie shell; set aside to cool.  If it was on a different temp, change oven to 350 degrees and leave on.

For pie filling, begin by melting, then browning butter in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Do not leave on too low a temp or it will take for-e-ver.  You don’t have time to wait that long for this pie.  As butter gets ready to brown, it will begin to froth quite a bit (see photos below).  Trust the process and keep stirring constantly.  It will turn a nice deep brown before your eyes almost instantly.  Immediately when it turns brown, remove it from the heat.

Whisk in flour and brown sugar; blend in well.  Return to medium heat and then add milk and lightly beaten egg yolks and continue to stir constantly to keep from sticking.  Cook over direct heat until mixture thickens to pudding consistency.  Remove from heat; then add vanilla and stir it in.  Pour into baked pie crust.  Don’t overfill, as you will need to have exposed crust to seal the meringue.

For meringue, beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar for about one minute on medium speed – until soft peaks form.  Increase mixer to high speed, gradually adding sugar now (about 1 T. at a time). Beat on high about 4 or 5 minutes — until forms stiff, glossy peaks and sugar is dissolved. Immediately spread over pie, carefully sealing to the edge of pie crust to prevent shrinking.

Cook 12-15 min. at 350 degrees, or until meringue is golden brown. If edges of crust or top of meringue begin to brown too much, you may need to move pie to a lower oven rack.

Cool completely to room temperature before slicing.

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Coconut Pecan Meringue Melts

Erin used to make these all the time at Dad’s request.  These are his favorite cookie. My favorite memory of them, however, is from a camping trip. We normally went to the lake in the summertime for our family vacation, but this time it was in October down at Pine Creek Lake in SE Oklahoma.  I was very serious about fishing, so I’d get up crazy early to get ready to go some days while the other girls were still sleeping. They would go too, but I just couldn’t wait to get up and be ready—if you know how much I like my sleep, you’ll know just how much I love to fish.

It’s possible we’d sneak a couple (several) with our coffee those cold fall mornings before we’d take the boat out to fish. I very clearly remember watching the sun coming up while standing outside (it was too cold to sit down on the concrete picnic bench) on a very chilly morning, just Dad and me, eating these cookies, drinking piping hot coffee (yes, my love of coffee goes way back), and listening to the sounds of the morning. The mist coming up off the water in the early morning is a sight everyone should see.

As you might guess from the name, these cookies do indeed melt in your mouth, and they are absolutely incredible if you make sure to let them brown up juuuust a bit.  That’s what gives them their slightly toasted flavor that takes them from the pretty darn great to heavenly – especially with a steaming cup of coffee.  ~Robin

CoconutPecanMeringueMelts

Ingredients:

4 medium egg whites

1 ½ c. sugar

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract (substitutes not recommended)

1 ½ c. shredded sweetened coconut (I like Baker’s) Link: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/products/bakers-sweetened-angel-flake-co-29.aspx

1 c. finely chopped pecans

 

Instructions:

Heat oven to 325°F.

Line a baking sheet with brown wrapping paper (can be found at any craft store) OR a brown paper grocery bag cut to the size of the baking sheet (non-printed side up—you don’t want a grocery logo on your cookies).

Beat egg whites just until they’re frothy.  Gradually beat in the sugar. Continue to beat with mixer until it forms very stiff peaks when you raise the beaters out of the mixture. Will have a glossy appearance as well.

Gently fold in salt, vanilla, coconut, and pecans.

Drop heaping teaspoons of dough 2” apart on the paper.

Bake about 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Immediately upon removal from the oven, carefully remove the paper (with the cookies still on it) from the hot pan and set it aside.

Place a clean wet dish towel on the hot baking sheet; then return the paper with the cookies onto the towel so the wet towel lies between the baking sheet and the paper.  Allow to sit for one minute.

The steam created by the hot pan will loosen the cookies so you can easily remove them from the paper with a turner.