For all the years I’ve been married my husband, John, has talked (raved) about his mother’s chocolate and butterscotch pies. They were favorites of his and his siblings and my mother-in-law made them often to feed her hungry family and the farm hands who lived and worked on their Idaho potato farm. Unfortunately, I failed to get those treasured recipes from her before she died.
The other day, John was going through some old files and he found a worn, brown, spiral notebook tucked away in a filing cabinet. The other items stored with it gave him reason to believe it had been filed away sometime in the 1960’s. When he saw what it contained, he brought it upstairs to the kitchen.
Carefully opening the brittle cover, I discovered about a half dozen or so yellowed pages of Betty’s handwritten recipes. I’ve no idea why she wrote them down or why she chose these particular recipes instead of others. I suspect that they may have been John’s favorites at one time. Perhaps he had asked her for a copy of them. Or perhaps she simply wrote down some that she knew her young, college-bound son could manage to cook. Whatever the case, I will enjoy trying them out. And I will begin on page 1 where the very first recipes in the book are for “Meringue” and “Butterscotch Pie Filling.”
A transcript of
“Butterscotch Pie Filling”
Brown 1 tablespoon. butter, add 1 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons milk and cook to a taffy, Put in double boiler and add one cup milk. Thicken with one large tablespoon corn starch and yolks of 2 eggs. Cook 15 minutes. Remove from double boiler and add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool.
Cook pie in slow oven 15 minutes.
There is no mention of pie crust and my husband doesn’t remember what type of crust his mother used. Today people make these pies with an easy graham cracker or cookie crust but I don’t think that was common in the 40’s and 50’s when Betty was baking on the farm. It’s also not something John likes. For those two reasons I’m going to assume that his mother poured her filling into a baked pastry shell.
I haven’t tried this yet, but for my husband it’s already a winner!
A “pinch” of salt is 1/8 tsp. or a bit less.
A “slow oven” is one set to 300º – 325º.
You need to stir the filling the entire time it is cooking.