Friday, November 25, 2005

Yet another Thanksgiving pie

Butterscotch Pie
The New York Times Cookbook Copyright 1961

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 ¼ cups water
1 egg yolk (I always use 2 because I’m paranoid that one little egg yolk isn’t going to do the job)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 pint vanilla ice cream (must be Haagen Daaz or this recipe is at your own risk)
Almond Crust*
½ cup heavy cream, whipped I let everyone top with whatever they prefer (whipped cream, Cool Whip, etc)
Slivered almonds, toasted I omit

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar and water and heat to boil. Combine a little of the mixture with the lightly beaten egg yolk, then add to the mixture in the saucepan. (This can be tricky and sometimes I have to strain out a few strands of cooked egg yolk.)
2. Soften the gelatin in cold water. Stir it into the sugar mixture until gelatin dissolves. Add the ice cream, cut into pieces, and stir until melted.
3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until slightly thickened but not set. Turn into the prepared pie crust and chill until firmly set. When read to serve, garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts.

*NOTE- I’ve always used a graham cracker crust. Homemade is better - if you use store bought you won’t fit in all the filling. The Almond Crust recipe from this cookbook is 1 ½ cups blanched almonds, finely chopped, 1 stiffly beaten egg white and ¼ cup sugar baked until lightly brown in a 375 degree oven (for 9-inch pie).

I’ve been making this recipe for years on Thanksgiving. It’s my brother’s favorite and over the years it’s become one of mine, something I didn’t realize until this year. I believe the secret to this pie is that I always use Haagen Daaz. What wouldn’t taste good with a pint of Haagen Daaz vanilla ice cream mixed into it?

This isn’t an attractive pie in it’s unadorned state (this year it had a scar from the plastic wrap I used to cover it) but everyone in my family has different preferences when it comes to pie toppings so I leave it plain. The filling has quite a jiggle to it, from the gelatin, so it’s difficult to cut a small slice but it has a wonderful creamy texture and a delicious flavor when you taste it. Look at the ingredients – butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla ice cream (I insist you use Haagen Daaz which is always on sale the week before Thanksgiving) – you can imagine how good this is.

The New York Times Cookbook is a classic. It was one of my first cookbooks, purchased from the return bin for $1, at the book warehouse where I had a summer job in college. Truth be told, this may be the only recipe I've ever tried from this cookbook but it makes the book well worth the buck. I assume many of the other recipes were popular in the 50s and 60s but seem a bit outdated now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paula--That almond crust sounds really good!