Makes: one 9-inch pie
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 18 to 20 minutes
Cool: about 3 hours
This recipe comes from my book, Anne Byrn Saves the Day. It is an old Kentucky family recipe of my friend Beth Meador. Her sister Jackie Drake, who lives in Bloomfield, KY, gave Beth the recipe. And what everyone loves about this modest recipe is that it is simple to pull together from few ingredients. Some people know this recipe as Butterscotch Pie. Any way you name it, this pie is delicious!
For the crust and filling:
1 store-bought 9-inch pie crust, thawed if frozen
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon salted or unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the meringue:
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Transfer the pie crust to a glass pie pan if you wish or leave it in its aluminum foil pie pan. If it’s not a preformed pie crust, fit it into a glass pie plate.
2. Make the brown sugar pie: Bake the pie crust following the directions on the package until it is light brown. Let the crust cool on a wire rack while you make the pie filling. Leave the oven on, adjusting the temperature if necessary, to 400°F.
3. Place the brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium-size saucepan and stir to combine. Slowly whisk in the milk. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the filling begins to thicken and is bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the filling until it has completely thickened, 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in a medium-size stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the egg whites aside for the meringue. Beat the egg yolks with a fork to combine. Add 3 tablespoons of the hot filling to the egg yolks and stir well to combine. Then whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan of filling. Place the pan over low heat and cook, whisking, until the yolks are well combined and the filling is thick, creamy, and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the filling into the baked crust.
5. Make the meringue: Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating on high speed. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy and the sugar is dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Pile spoonfuls of the meringue on top of the pie filling. Using a spatula, push the meringue to the edge of the crust to seal in the filling. Smooth the top of the pie.
7. Bake the pie until the meringue is just lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 3 hours before serving.
Note: Let the eggs come to room temperature, taking them out of the refrigerator half an hour before you plan to make the pie.