What Are the Best Tips for Making Butterscotch Pie?

Janis Adams

Considered a Pennsylvania Dutch treat, butterscotch pie is a sweet confection. To make a superb pie, it is important to start with the crust; if the crust is flaky but not dry, the pie will have a good foundation. The key to creating the butterscotch filling is not to overcook it.

Some butterscotch pie recipes are topped with meringue.
Some butterscotch pie recipes are topped with meringue.

To make a good crust, all the ingredients that will go into it should be well chilled before they are combined. A key ingredient that is often neglected when making a pie crust is salt. Salt should never be omitted from a pie crust recipe, as it is a stabilizer for the other ingredients. For the flakiest crust, it is best to use lard in place of butter.

When making the crust for a butterscotch pie, less is usually best. Water is an important ingredient in crust. The most important tip for adding water is to add it sparingly; more water can always be added, but too much cannot be taken out. A wet crust before baking will never produce a flaky crust after baking.

It is always better to make more crust than might be needed, because it is never a good idea to run out of crust when lining the pie pan. Once the pie crust has been laid out in the pan, any overlapping crust should be trimmed. This extra crust can be made into a turnover, so it does not need to go to waste. A butterscotch pie requires that the crust be pre-baked before the filling is added.

For the filling, butter is used as the base ingredient. As the butter begins to melt in a pot, it is important that it not be allowed to burn, which will ruin the taste of the butterscotch filling. While adding the remaining ingredients to make the filling, it is vital for the baker to continually stir the pot. This will ensure that the ingredients combine smoothly and also keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will also make the filling smooth and creamy, rather than lumpy.

Some recipes for butterscotch pie call for a topping of meringue, while others do not. The key to a light airy meringue is not to over whip the egg whites. If this topping is added, the pie will need to baked for an additional amount of time so that the meringue cooks. When the tips of the meringue turn a golden brown, this signals that it has finished cooking and should not remain in the oven any longer or it will begin to get tough.

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