When it comes to nostalgic childhood favourites, nothing beats butterscotch pudding as far as I'm concerned.
I'm not talking about those fancy salted caramel budinos that were all the rage a couple of years ago... I'm talking about that perfect sweet simplicity of brown sugar tempered with just a dash of salt.
I love it just as it is, but I love the very grownup flavour that it takes on when you add a splash of bourbon, especially when it's nestled into a gingersnap crumb crust and then topped with a pillowy mound of barely-sweet whipped cream. Definitely miles away from those little plastic cups my dad used to pack in my lunchbox as a treat!
While there are plenty of versions of this recipe that use instant pudding and whipped topping, my version is completely made from scratch. The filling is a simple butterscotch pudding that starts with brown sugar and butter, and then whisks in Hewitt's homogenized milk and whipping cream to give it its rich, creamy consistency. Finally, it's capped off with a thick layer of real whipped cream to offset the rich sweetness of the filling.
Don't let the fact that it's made from scratch scare you off, though... this is still a dead-easy dessert to make. Basically, the hardest part is waiting the couple of hours needed for the filling to set up in the fridge before you can top of off.
The only catch is that this pie has to be eaten pretty much as soon as it's made, which means it's the perfect excuse to invite a few friends over to help you out.
You don't even need to throw a whole dinner party for the occasion... coffee and board games should do just fine, seeing as you've gone through all the trouble of making them a lovely pie from scratch. They don't need to know it was so easy to make.
(Though if you do end up with leftovers, go ahead and stash them in the fridge for the next day, or send them home with the winner as their reward for crushing everyone at your board game of choice. They'll still be delicious, albeit a little soggier.)
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Gay Lea, and received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Bourbon Butterscotch Cream Pie
- Total Time: 6 hours 5 mins
- Yield: 8 1x
Forget the boxed mix! This homemade butterscotch cream pie starts with made-from-scratch butterscotch-bourbon pudding filling, which is poured into a no-bake gingersnap crumb crust and topped off with a mound of pillowy whipped cream.
- 2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp Gay Lea unsalted butter
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups Hewitt's homogenized milk
- ½ cup Hewitt's whipping cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp bourbon
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 cup Hewitt's whipping cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp bourbon
- Chopped pecans, for garnish (optional)
Prepare the Crust:
- In a small bowl, stir together the crushed cookies, melted butter and salt until combined. Scrape into a lightly buttered 9-inch pie dish. Using the bottom of a cup or a flexible spatula, press the crumbs firmly into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish.
Prepare the Filling:
- In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together until bubbly. Whisk in the milk and cream, and bring the mixture to a bare simmer, stirring occasionally.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and corn starch until smooth. Ladle in a little of the hot milk, whisking as you go to make sure the eggs don't curdle. Repeat this process again until you've added about half of the milk, then pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan.
- Continue cooking the pudding until thickens, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula to keep the bottom from burning. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then pour into the prepared pie crust. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours (or overnight) to allow the filling to set up.
Prepare the Topping:
- Just before serving, prepare the topping. Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, icing sugar and bourbon into soft peaks. Spread onto the chilled pie filling, and sprinkle with pecans, if using. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 6 hours
- Cook Time: 5 mins
Anne Duvoisin says
Questions: Can I freeze this pie and second can another liquor be substituted for bourbon?
Isabelle Boucher says
I've never tried freezing this pie, so I can't say for sure... I suspect it won't be quite the same as freshly-made, since the crust will soften and the texture of the pudding might change slightly, but I have heard that some people do freeze pudding pies without any major issues. If you decide to take a change, please do let me know how it goes!
In terms of substitutes for bourbon, you can use any other brown liquor (e.g. whiskey, scotch, brandy). Make sure to choose one that you like the flavour of, since it will influence the flavour of the filling - if you use a really peaty or smoky scotch, for example, you'll get a hint of smokiness that you wouldn't get from bourbon.
Janice Cournoyer says
This now my favourite pie. Reminds me of one my Grandmother used to make . So easy and the kids love it!!
Nicole | Culinary Cool says
My dad totally packed us butterscotch pudding cups for lunches, too! Aren't dad's the best?! As for this pie, you had me at bourbon. I could eat half of this on my own!
Bernice Hill says
I have never made butterscotch but damn, apparently I need to start. Especially the kind with bourbon. That is one righteous pie Miss Iz.
Diane Galambos says
Crikey!! I remember the version with pudding. Am liking the sounds of this - especially the gingersnap crust. And thanks for the "eat right away" tip. Am up for that mission!! Diane @kitchenblissca / FBC
Ohh THIS is what you were making! Much tastier than my banana cream pie guess :P I've also never had butterscotch pie before... I'll have to try making this!
I love from scratch Butterscotch pie. It is one of my favorite flavors. For my son's food class final in grade 10 he had to prepare a 4 course meal and his dessert was butterscotch pie. This version sounds spectacular!