Spiced Butterscotch Meringue Pies

Spiced Butterscotch Meringue Pies

Why have pumpkin pie when you can have custard pie? These butterscotch pies are brown sugar custards spiced with the best part of pumpkin pie - pumpkin spice. Up the drama by torching meringue and adding a drizzle of dark green, nutty, and rich Pumpkin Seed oil. 

Ingredients:
Frozen or Refrigerated Pie Crust
(Make your own - we always favor repurposing King Arthur's tart crust recipe

Custard:
2 cups Half & Half
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Spice
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Egg Yolks
2 Tbls butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 Vanilla Bean Seeds

Meringue:
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Egg whites
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
Pinch of Salt 
1/2 Vanilla Bean Seeds

Fleur De Sel
Pumpkin Seed Oil 

 

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350F.
(Make ahead.) Blind bake your pie crusts. We made cut out rounds and made 12 mini pies but you can also make one large pie. Make sure to use a fork to prick holes in the crust so it does not balloon while baking. Bake 10 minutes for the minis, 15-20 for a large. Let pie crust cool.  

Custard - Make ahead 1 day

Warm the half and half in a pot over medium heat. You do not want it to boil, just heat until steam starts coming off the half and half, before bubbles start bursting through. 

While the half and half warms, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together Pumpkin Spice, salt, cornstarch, and brown sugar together. Add the egg yolks and mix together. 

Next, we will add the half and half to the egg yolks. Do this slowly, to temper the eggs and slowly bring them up in heat or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Hold the pot of half and half in one hand and a whisk in another. Slowly pour a small amount into the sugar egg mixture while whisking. Pause and continue whisking. Continue very slowly streaming the half and half into the sugar egg mixture while whisking.

After you have pour all the half and half, return the mix to the pot and the stove. Add butter and vanilla bean and whisk. Continue cooking the mixture while whisking until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the mixture back into the bowl to make sure it is creamy and smooth.

Let custard cool to room temperature. Spoon the cooled custard into the pie crust and refrigerate. 

Before serving, make the meringue. This is a Swiss style meringue which will be made in a double boiler. Place a pot of water on the stove over medium heat. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, cream of tartar, and salt. Place the bowl on the pot of water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl. Continue whisking until the sugar has completely dissolved. You can feel the whites to see if they are still gritty or the sugar has dissolved. 

In a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites until they create stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and whip a few times until incorporated. 

Dollop the meringue onto the pies. Finish by using a torch or placing in the oven on broil for a few minutes, until the tops of the peaks are brown. 

Finish by adding a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel and a drizzle of Pumpkin Seed Oil for a salty, nutty note. 

Serve and eat immediately. 

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