Topline Trends Tuesday: Butterscotch


Fancier. Butterier. As yummy as ever before but just more (deservingly) popular. Butterscotch is trending up and that can’t help but be good!

From butterscotch desserts appearing on more fine dining restaurant menus to a twitter chat I had with @finecooking a couple of weeks ago, it seems like I can’t pass the day without hearing a butterscotch reference.

It’s even on sitcoms: on a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother, it was declared that “Butterscotch is Canadian women’s chocolate.”

While I can’t speak for the entire Canadian female population, I can say that chocolate is my chocolate but butterscotch is my butterscotch. Confused? It’s the same as how silk is silk and wool is wool. Both are great but they’re different. And, like a wool sweater over a silk shirt, they’re often fantastic together!

That said, one of my favourite childhood desserts is Butterscotch Meringue Pie; it’s a study in soothing dessert goodness.

What about you? Butterscotch or chocolate? Canadian or American? Fess up!

Dana’s Definitive Butterscotch Meringue Pie

1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) hot milk
4 eggs, separated
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 pre-baked pie crust, 9-in (23 cm)
1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar

Stir the flour with the brown sugar in heavy saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook, stirring almost constantly, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes or until thick and smooth; reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring often.

Beat the egg yolks and stir a little of the hot milk mixture into eggs. Pour the egg mixture into pan, stirring constantly and cook for 3 minutes longer. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Cool completely.

Beat the egg whites until foamy; gradually beat in granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Mound on top of custard, spreading meringue out to edge of crust. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden.

• Because this pie and topping are so sweet and rich, use a lard or shortening-based piecrust to ensure that the crust is a foil to the other elements.
• To pre-bake the piecrust, prick the raw shell all over with a fork; line with foil and pie weights or dried beans. Bake in a preheated, 400 F (200 C) oven for 20 minutes; remove foil and weights; bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden. Cool on rack.

17 Responses to Topline Trends Tuesday: Butterscotch

  1. Rosa says:

    That’s a terrific pie! I love butterscotch…



  2. Jennifer says:

    If I must make a decision…I’ll admit that when presented with chocolate and butterscotch candies mingling in a basket, I always sneak away with a few of the golden lovelies. I will never turn away a dessert that combines both. They partner ever so well. (Oh, and I’m American).

  3. Jeanne says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh! My mouth is watering!!!!! Nothing better!

  4. Cheryl says:

    What jeanne said. Wow, that looks fantastic. I’m a sucker for butterscotch but eat it far too infrequently. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Thanks for nudging it back to the top of my dining agenda.

  5. Beth says:

    Canadian butterscotch lover here!

  6. Confession time. I’ve never understood the real difference between caramel and butterscotch. Can you help?

  7. I love butterscotch and am so tempted by this pie. I prefer butterscotch to caramel because it’s more buttery.

    Cheryl A, my understanding is that butterscotch is brown sugar and butter blended together while caramel is caramelized white sugar — with our without the presence of butter. Anyone know different?

  8. Amy says:

    I love love butterscotch! It’s right up next to toffee. : )

  9. Carrie says:

    I love butterscotch too, but I gotta say my new fave, second to chocolate (nothing beats good chocolate) is Dulce de Leche.

  10. Barb says:

    Hate to have to choose. But chocolate it is. Canadian, too. Dulce de Leche is amazing, I agree

  11. Y says:

    Oh, a definitive butterscotch pie recipe? Bookmarked!!

  12. Sharon Haslam says:

    Mmm butterscotch is heavenly! It’s my hubby’s all time favourite flavour-he can put it with chocolate but I like to keep the two separate!
    We do a biscuit dough in a pyrex dish with lots of brown sugar dissolved in boiling water and add cream and butter and pour over top. After it bakes the sauce forms on the bottom and the biscuit “cake” is on top–it’s a crazy Newfie dessert that’s my mom’s speciality.
    We also grew up on chocolate cream pie–but I’m going to try your butterscotch pie at our next dinner!

  13. i loooove butterscotch! i’m american, but i’d take butterscotch sauce on my ice cream over chocolate sauce anyday. butterscotch meringue pie couldn’t be anything but fabulous!!

  14. Heather says:

    I love butterscotch too…Chocolate is good, but keep it out of my butterscotch! That pie sounds wonderful…buterscotch and meringue…two of my favourites! Note u in “favourites”, yes, I’m Canadian.

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