08 October 2012

Salted Chocolate Butterscotch Pie

This may be my favorite thing I have ever made.  If it's not, it is very, very close to the top of the list.  When I am eating each dreamy, creamy bite I forget about every single dessert that came before this pie.  It has my three favorite flavors all rolled into each slice -- chocolate, butterscotch, and almond.  It's my idea of heaven since it's sweet, salty, rich, light, crunchy, and positively delicious.

Butterscotch can tend to scare people away.  This is not the butterscotch you get out of a package from the grocery store.  It's not that unnatural orange color, but the dreamiest shade of extraordinarily pale caramel.
A little fact you may not know:  Butterscotch does not actually contain scotch whiskey and that is not where the name comes from.  The name comes for a technique called "scotching", which is how the candy was cut into bite size pieces.

The chocolate layer is most akin to a truffle.  It uses a Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt candy bar.  The recipe calls for a little more chocolate than you have in the candy bar also, so you can use a little more chocolate from a second bar or just add some more dark or bittersweet chocolate.  The rich, bitterness of the chocolate is a great counterpart to the sweet, lightness of the butterscotch layer.

I made the crust with some almond shortbread cookies I found around town.  If you can't find almond cookies, you could use vanilla wafers, chocolate cookies, or graham crackers.  You can add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract if you want that flavor in the crust.  You can also make this a completely no bake pie by using a pre-made crumb crust.

Salted Chocolate Butterscotch Pie
makes one 9" pie

Print me, please!!!

your layers don't need to be perfectly level
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups almond shortbread cookie crumbs
4 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
3 Tbsp sugar

For the chocolate layer:
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
5 1/2 oz Lindt Chocolate with Sea Salt, broken into pieces
my husband's plate says it all
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 tsp almond extract

For the butterscotch layer:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350°.  Combine the cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar until well combined.  Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.  Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven; set aside.

To make the chocolate layer, combine the cornstarch and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in the heavy cream and beat until the mixture is smooth.  Whisk in the milk until combined.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens (You want the consistency slightly thicker than pudding.).  Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the chocolate and butter until they have melted and the mixture is very smooth.  Whisk in the almond extract.  Pour the mixture on top of the crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula; set aside.

To make the butterscotch layer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and the brown sugar is dissolved.  Combine the cornstarch and the heavy cream in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add the milk to the brown sugar mixture in the saucepan, followed by the heavy cream/cornstarch mixture, whisk until smooth.  Increase the heat to medium and heat until boiling.  Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens.  Pour the butterscotch mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and chill until the pie is set and completely chilled, 4 to 6 hours.  You can serve it with whipped cream if you like.

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