Butterscotch-Cinnamon Pie Recipe

The great thing about scratch is that you can make so many things from it.

Toriel's butterscotch-cinnamon pieWhen I started playing Undertale, Jake asked me to come up with a Butterscotch-Cinnamon Pie recipe for him. I wanted to make it from scratch instead of dumping in a box of pudding. It took more than one try, but I finally got it right.

Homemade butterscotch-cinnamon pie with meringue topping
If you'd like a fluffier layer of meringue, or a thicker pie, just increase the amounts below by 50% each

Ingredients

  • Open-faced pie crust, baked & cooled
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (but you might end up using more or less)

Meringue topping (optional)

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. In a double boiler, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in milk, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Continue stirring until mixture thickens.
    × The filling takes several minutes to gel. If you have to ask yourself whether it's thick enough, it isn't.
  2. Pour a bit of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Stir to combine, then pour the egg-filling mixture into the double boiler.
    × Eggs cook at a low temperature. Adding a smaller amount of the filling first helps distribute the eggs through the filling so they don't cook as soon as they come into contact with it and fill your pie with strands of cooked egg.
  3. Keep the double boiler on the heat for several minutes, stirring constantly. (If you have a candy thermometer, you can check that the filling reaches 212° and stays there for a couple of minutes; if not, just keep whisking for five or six minutes.)
    × It's true that eggs cook at a low temperature – but the alpha-amylase protein in egg yolks doesn't break down until it reaches the boiling point.

    Alpha-amylase will break down the starch that would otherwise make the pie gel, and if it ends up in your filling, you will be left with a bowl of cinnamon-butterscotch soup. Trust me on this one.
  4. Remove the filling from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and cinnamon. Add the cinnamon a teaspoon at a time, tasting to make sure that the butterscotch and the cinnamon are in balance.
  5. Pour the filling into the pie crust and put the pie in the refrigerator to chill. Serve cold during battle with Asgore.

If you want a topping, you can whip up some cream or make a soft meringue with your leftover egg whites.

Optional meringue topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. Beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until the egg whites are stiff. When you lift up the mixer, the egg whites should form peaks that flop over.
  3. Beat the sugar into the egg whites one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Spoon the meringue on top of the pie and bake it for 15 minutes. The meringue should be slightly brown on top. Let cool before serving.
Homemade butterscotch-cinnamon pie.  One slice down, seven to go
The peaks of the meringue are brown; you can bake until it's a bit browner, but you should still see plenty of white
Written on December 31, 2015