A Birthday Cake Alternative

Cream pies are not something I grew up with.  We were an ice cream kind of family. No matter how cold it was outside, we always had at least 5 pints of ice cream in the freezer and if you wanted dessert after dinner that was what you were getting.  Which suited me fine because honestly, ice cream is delicious, right? It wasn't until I met my now-husband that I began to understand the merits of a good cream pie.

Ingredients:
Crust:

Butterscotch Pudding (Adapted from smitten kitchen)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • generous pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups whole milk (or a combo of milk and cream for a richer pudding)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Whipped cream: 

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you'd like it
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Method:
Make the crust- crush the cookies in a closed, gallon size plastic bag using a rolling pin or something heavy or grind them into a fine powder using a food processor.  combine cookie crumbs with melted butter, sugar and salt. Using fingertips, press cookie crumb mixture into pie pan creating even layer along the bottom and up the sides.  bake at 375'F for 15 minutes. let cool and set aside. 

Prepare the pudding-In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and reduce heat to medium-low. Let it heat and let the sugar dissolve a little, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Add salt and cornstarch, stirring until combined — it’s going to look like a thick paste. Switch to a whisk and add the milk in a thin drizzle, whisking the whole time, so that no lumps form. Once all of the milk is added, you can switch back to a spoon. Cook over low to medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Let it simmer for a full minute, stirring, it should clearly thicken at this stage, although it will finish thickening in the fridge. Take the pot off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool for 15 minutes and then place layer of plastic wrap over the top, touching the pudding, to avoid a skin forming. let chill in fridge for 1 to 2 hours, until set.

Prepare the whipped cream- take cold cream and place in stand mixer with whisk attachment or whisk by hand starting on low speed in the stand mixer and then getting faster as the cream gets thicker. slowly add the sugar and vanilla. whisk until stiff peaks form. 

Assemble the pie- 
pour cooled pudding onto baked crust in 1 even layer. ideally let sit and set for 1-2 hours in the fridge. finish with a layer of whipped cream and serve immediately.