Eva Watts of Baltimore was looking for a recipe for an old-fashioned butterscotch pie. She has a fond memory of one her mother used to make using brown sugar and "country butter" that she churned herself. Helen Cahill of Santa Rosa, Calif., shared her family recipe for Grandma's Butterscotch Pie.
What I especially liked about Cahill's recipe was that it called for a vanilla-wafer crust instead of the more traditional baked pastry crust. The cookie crust added just a little extra something to a pie that is really nothing more than butterscotch custard topped with slightly sweetened meringue. Whether you choose to make it with a pastry crust or a cookie crust, this pie's a real winner and not one you are likely to come across every day.
Grandma's Butterscotch Pie
Serves 8 to 10
CRUST: 40 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (1 2/3 cups crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups milk
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 teaspoons sugar
To make crust: Thoroughly blend cookie crumbs, sugar and butter or margarine. Press mixture firmly against bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool.
To make filling: Melt butter or margarine in skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Add brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles. Reduce heat to low and gradually add boiling water, then remove from heat.
In a separate saucepan, mix cornstarch, flour and salt. Blend in milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in the brown-sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add some of the hot liquid to the egg yolks, mix, then add the yolks to the hot mixture. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Pour mixture into a bowl and place a piece of wax paper directly on the surface of the filling. Allow to cool to room temperature. When cool, pour mixture into prepared crust.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually. Beat until stiff peaks form. Cover filling with mounded egg whites. Bake at 425 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes, until the meringue topping is golden brown.
Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
Per serving (based on 10 servings): 374 calories, 5 grams protein, 17 grams fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 101 milligrams cholesterol, 268 milligrams sodium
James Mentzer of McHenry, Ill., is searching for a recipe for making apple butter.
Frances Galati of Custer, S.D., is looking for a recipe for hush puppies made with whole corn kernels. She had them at Legal Sea Foods in Boston.
If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail recipefinder@ baltsun.com. Letters may be edited for clarity.
The nutrition analyses accompanying recipes in today's Taste section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.