Chocolate-Butterscotch Pie

Southerners have had a passion for butter-scotch for as long as there’s been a codified style of cooking in the South, and the array of butterscotch pies, cookies, icings, toppings, and candies is truly staggering. Basically no more than a blend of butter and brown sugar, butterscotch can be enriched even more with egg yolks and cream or milk; flavored with lemon, chocolate, vanilla, and spices; and transformed into various textures. What’s most amazing about this particular pie is the way it separates into layers of butterscotch and chocolate as it bakes. The pie is so delicious that I could eat it just by itself, with no meringue to dress it up. The pie is almost as good chilled as at room temperature, despite the change in the meringue’s texture.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, softened
  • cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • One 13-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • One unbaked 9-inch Basic Pie Shell
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate over low heat and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer till fluffy, add the egg yolks, and beat till well incorporated. Add the melted chocolate, evaporated milk, and vanilla and stir till the batter is well blended and light. Scrape the batter into the pie shell and bake till set, about 50 minutes. Cool the pie completely on a rack.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer till firm peaks form, then gradually add 5 tablespoons of the sugar, beating steadily till the whites stiffen. Spread the meringue over the pie to seal the edges completely, sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top, and bake just till the meringue is slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack and serve at room temperature.