Recipes passed down through the family are the best kind of recipes. This delicious caramel pie, passed down to Rob by his grandmother, is so good that it’ll become a favorite in your family, too.
Prep time: 90 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the crust:
Combine 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, whisking to break up clumps. Add shortening and incorporate with a pastry blender or fork until dough is pea-sized crumbs. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of ice cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms large clumps.
Turn dough out of bowl onto sheet of plastic wrap and form into 1-inch thick disc. Seal and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475°F.
Remove dough from plastic wrap and transfer to floured work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough until it’s slightly larger than your pie plate. Carefully place dough in pie plate and gently press down to lie bottom and sides. Trim excess dough from edge of pie plate with a knife. Flute edges using thumb on one hand and two fingers on another. Score bottom of pie shell with a fork.
Bake until golden and set, approximately 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
For the filling:
Pour milk into double boiler and cook over medium-high heat until temperature reads 181°F with a thermometer, whisking occasionally. While milk is cooking, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl, breaking up all crumbs. Once milk reaches 181°F, add dry ingredients, two tablespoons at a time, and whisk until mixture starts to thicken. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove double boiler from heat. Whisk egg yolks and add to mixture. Return double boiler to heat and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, whisking until incorporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
Add vanilla to filling and whisk well. Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth with flat side of spatula. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the meringue:
Place egg whites into clean metal bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. With mixer running, add granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated.
Dollop meringue on top of filling. Using flat side of spatula, spread meringue on top of pie, covering to completely and ensuring it touches crust on all sides. To create peaks, lightly dab meringue with spatula.
Place pie on baking sheet and bake until meringue has browned, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely at least 3 hours.
ORANGE & FIELD TIP: The key to this pie turning out properly is letting it set after it’s made. If possible, make the pie the day before and allow to set in the refrigerator overnight. If time doesn’t allow for this, make sure it sets for at least 3 hours.