2 ratings

Butterscotch Cream Pie with Cookie Crust

Perfect for Thanksgiving dessert
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

This decadent and rich butterscotch cream pie is made with a crumb crust that uses spiced Belgian cookies instead of graham crackers. 

This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson was originally published in the Chicago Tribune

Ready in
8 h and 55 m
45 m
(prepare time)
20 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For the cookie crust

  • 1 box (7 ounces) cinnamon spiced Belgian cookies (speculoos or Biscoff)
  • 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the brown butter butterscotch pudding:

  • 2 1/2 Cups whole milk
  • 1/4 Cup cornstarch (or 1/3 cup tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 Cups tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream for garnish


For the cookie crust

For the crust, heat oven to 350 degrees.

Have a shallow 9-inch pie plate ready.

Break the cookies into the food processor.

Use on/off turns to crush them into fine crumbs. (Alternatively, put the cookies into a clean zippered plastic food bag, seal the bag and crush them into crumbs with a rolling pin or heavy can.)

Transfer the crumbs to a bowl.

Set aside 1 or 2 tablespoons of the crumbs for garnish.

Stir 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 5 tablespoons melted butter into remaining crumbs until mixture resembles wet sand.

Press mixture over bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

Bake until crust is set and fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the brown butter butterscotch pudding:

For the pudding, put milk, cornstarch and salt into food processor or blender.

Process until smooth.

Add egg yolks and process to blend.

Set aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large, deep saucepan set over medium-high heat.

Cook, stirring often, until butter bubbles and looks and smells toasted (but not burned).

Whisk in 3/4 cup sugar, and keep whisking until mixture is smooth and homogenous. (You will see the melted butter pool around the sugar — just keep whisking.)

Remove the pan from the heat. (Be careful, the sugar is very hot.)

Slowly and carefully whisk in cream until smooth. (It is normal for the sugar to seize into small, hard bits as the cream is added. If necessary, return the pan to low heat and continue whisking until the sugar has melted.)

Add about a cup of this hot butterscotch cream to egg mixture, and whisk to blend. (This tempers the yolks, so they do not curdle.)

Return this egg yolk mixture to the remaining butterscotch cream in the pan.

Set the pan over medium heat.

Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes.

Continue cooking and whisking until smooth and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and whisk in vanilla.

8 For smoother results, strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.

Then pour the strained pudding into the cooled and baked pie shell.

Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap or wax paper (this prevents a "pudding skin" from forming.)

Refrigerate the pie overnight.

To garnish, pipe whipped cream around the edge of the cold pie and sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

Cut into wedges with a knife dipped in warm water.

Serve cold.