Butterscotch Meringue Pie

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Butterscotch Pie topped with a fluffy, baked meringue topping.  Tastes just like old-fashioned pies grandma and diners used to make.  

Closeup Butterscotch Meringue Pie on white plate

Butterscotch Pie perfection has been an elusive mystery to me.  My grandmother could make them.

Any time I have tried to make one, it has either been runny or grainy and sometimes both.

I think the problem has something to do with the way I was mixing ingredients.

Generally, it looks curdled to me before I even add eggs.

Almost like the brown sugar curdles the milk, turning it into what looks like tiny pieces of cottage cheese floating in the pan.

The flavor has never been an issue, just the finished texture.

During a recent trip to visit family, my husband returned with an entire folder of recipes from Uncle Bill.

They were not the recipes that he was looking for, but in this folder are some amazing recipes that will be shared as time allows.

The first find that needed to be cooked and adjusted was Butterscotch Pie.

The reason for adjustments is that these recipes are designed for 50 and 100 people.

There are only 2 of us in this household, and unless you are feeding ranch hands or cooking for a family reunion, chances are you also need a smaller serving size to make in your kitchen.

I tested this recipe with my modifications using flour and using cornstarch.

We prefer the texture of the flour version, but the cornstarch version seemed to set up better.

Andy wanted a piece of pie before it was fully cooled, I would have preferred to wait a day, but he smelled it as soon as he opened the refrigerator.

After waiting a day, it had set up a bit better, but not as well as the cornstarch version.

I know from experience that both ways work, so if you have a preference of one over the other, it will be fine.


I have been looking for a decent meringue for many years.

I have tried all the tricks from every corner of the internet.  I have never had great luck without making one that doesn’t weep.

My friend Brian sometimes has great advice on cooking techniques I cannot seem to wrap my head around.

He recommended I try making a meringue that had a cooked component.

I had nothing to lose, it couldn’t make any more of a mess on the top of a pie than the thousand other ways I have tried.

There were more recipes for this type of meringue than I thought there would be.

Nearly all of them call for cooking cornstarch in water, some with sugar, some without.

I wish I could tell you which recipe was the first one I laid eyes on to give credit, but I bet I looked at over 50 of them.

The one on our recipe card works well.  It held up for several days without going flat or gummy.

This pie, and all cream pies actually, need at least 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator to cool and set up.

Please plan accordingly.  This is not a recipe you can make and eat as soon as it comes out of the oven.

I mean you could, but it will be warm and runny like hot pudding.


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Vertical Butterscotch meringue pie slice on white plate and whole pie



Butterscotch pie with a meringue topping on a plate

Butterscotch Meringue Pie

Tasty pie with a homemade butterscotch filling and topped with a sturdy, non-weeping meringue.
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
Servings: 8 Pie Slices
Calories: 426kcal
Author: Beth Mueller



  • 2 cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 deep dish pie crust blind baked


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch heaping
  • 9 tablespoons white granulated sugar divided
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Filling
  • Place brown sugar and butter in a large, heavy bottom saucepan and set heat to medium low.
  • In a small bowl, mix eggs and milk together.
  • Add egg mixture and flour to sauce pan with sugar and butter and whisk until no lumps pf flour or sugar remain.
  • Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently until mixture is thick, like pudding.
  • Remove from heat, and add vanilla.
  • Pour filling into blind baked deep dish pie shell. There will be extra filling, place it in a bowl and refrigerate for an afternoon snack or for those who do not like pie crust or meringue.
  • Meringue
  • Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
  • Gradually add 6 tablespoons of white sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
  • Turn of mixer.
  • Heat water, cornstarch, and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
  • Add hot mixture to soft peak egg whites in the mixing bowl.
  • Turn mixer to high and beat until meringue forms stiff peaks.
  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
  • Finish Pie
  • Place meringue on top of the pie and spread out to the edges of the pie crust, this will help prevent shrinkage.
  • Place pie on a cookie sheet and place into preheated 350 Degree F oven. Cook for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the meringue is the color you want. I prefer light brown.
  • When pie is done, remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes or so.
  • Place in refrigerator and allow to cool at least 8 hours, overnight would be better.
  • Cut and serve.


Recipe needs at least 4 hours in the refrigerator to cool and set up. Please plan accordingly.
Recipes uses 9 total tablespoons of granulated sugar.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 78.3g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10.6g | Saturated Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 131mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 70.4g
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