Tuesday, July 30, 2013

taste of tuesday: butterscotch parfait pie

Awhile ago, I answered questions in a Liebster Award post about cooking and mentioned a butterscotch parfait pie I liked making and a few people wanted to know more about it. Well, I kept that tucked away until I felt like spending some time in the kitchen. This recipe takes forever to make but it is delicious and SO worth it! The recipe can be found here but I have copied it below and added my commentary in blue since I am obviously a culinary expert whose opinion you need!

Mile High Butterscotch Parfait Pie


25 graham crackers (broken into pieces) or 3 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs Crumbs for the win. You'll use a little less than one package!
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

Butterscotch Pudding:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water, plus 1/4 cup
1 package powdered unflavored gelatin, about 2 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup packed cornstarch

Chocolate Ganache:
6 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped I completely forgot to chop the chocolate but I used the thin Ghiradelli bars (which I prefer and were also cheaper than the Bakers brand) and it luckily worked just fine.
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped I did chop this
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy 
We were out of brandy and I made this on a Sunday. It didn't affect the taste, though.
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Top of the Parfait:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
Dark chocolate curls The topping tastes too milky for me so I normally add in powdered sugar to taste.

Equipment: a 9 by 3 1/2-inch spring form pan To avoid using a ton of dishes, I kept reusing and re-rinsing bowls, measuring cups, and measuring spoons! The pie is very tall and I had pudding and mousse leftover so you may want to consider a 10" pan.

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pulse the graham crackers and brown sugar in a food processor to a fine crumb. Melt the butter in a small saucepan (who are we kidding? I microwaved it), add it to the crumb mixture, and pulse until just combined. Pour the mixture into the spring form pan and press it firmly along the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan to make an even crust. Bake until the crust browns, about 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate while making the pudding.

To make the pudding: In a small medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the dark brown sugar and cook, stirring, until melted and bubbly. Gradually add in the heavy cream and stir over low heat until the butterscotch is dissolved. Whisk in the milk and salt. Remove from the heat and set aside until lukewarm. Pour the 2 tablespoons of water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top, do not stir. Set aside to let the gelatin bloom.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the butterscotch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens. It won't get that thick - just a little thicker. Reduce the heat to low; stir briskly, and bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator while you make the ganache. I let the pudding sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before pouring it into the crust.

Pie ingredients | Pudding pre-simmer | with the plastic wrap attached

To make the Ganache: Put the 6 ounces of chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate; set it aside for 5 minutes before whisking until smooth.

Pour the chocolate ganache into the chilled crust; then swirl the pan so the ganache evenly covers the sides and bottom of the crust. Set the crust aside at room temperature while you make the chocolate mousse. Swirling has never worked for me but the back of a spoon has. Just don't press too hard. 

To make the Mousse: Put the 8 ounces of chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of the cream, the brandy, and vanilla to a boil over medium high heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate; set it aside for 5 minutes before whisking until smooth. Cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature, whisking occasionally.

In a large bowl, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream until it holds a soft peak. Sift the sugar over the cream, and continue beating until slightly thicker; take care not to over whip the cream. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate to lighten the mixture. Fold in the remaining cream.

Ingredients with my trusty iPad | proof that I chopped the chocolate | finished mousse

To assemble the Parfait Pie: Pour the pudding into the prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Pour the chocolate mousse on top of the pudding, smooth the top if needed. Refrigerate until set, about 6 hours. In a medium bowl whip the cream and brandy until it holds a soft peak. Don't overwhip. I did, but it still tastes good! Spoon dollops of the whipped cream over the chocolate to cover and decorate with the chocolate shavings. Carefully remove the spring form ring. Transfer the Parfait Pie to a cake stand and serve. Cut with a warm serrated knife.

All the necessary ingredients and then each layer

And after about two hours, you're done! It's delicious and perfect for sharing. Cut the slices small because the ganache makes it super-rich. Trust me.

Do you like butterscotch? Ever made pudding from scratch? Can you believe I spent all this time making a pie? All in the name of blogging...

Proof that it lives up to its name of Mile High Parfait Pie!

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica!


  1. Oh wow, yum! This looks amazing!

  2. I am SO impressed!!! This looks so fancy and like something you would buy at a store! It sounds delish! Glad you linked up with us!

  3. Me = Mouth watering!!!

    It's almost too pretty to eat. :) But of course, I would totally gobble it up. Who are we kidding?!

  4. you know i just had a bday and could have totally eaten this to celebrate ;)

  5. this looks beyond yummy. Oh my gosh. I love butterscotch!

  6. That looks amazing! Much props for a difficult recipe!

  7. that. looks. amazing. I just went Paleo but would definitely CHEAT with this monster of a dessert!!

  8. Yum this looks so good! My mom's birthday is coming up in a few weeks - I might have to impress her and make this!

  9. This looks soo amazing! And so fancy! I am definitely going to copy this one down, maybe I can bust it out when my mother inaw is here to impress her! ;)

  10. Not sure if you saw my comment on your Pinterest pin, so I'm going to say it again. I hope you get Pinterest-famous with this recipe! :) It looks delicious!


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