Granny Compton’s Butterscotch Pie

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Creamy and decadent, yet simple and classic, Butterscotch Pie. A vintage recipe passed down from my children’s great-great-grandmother.

Granny Compton's Butterscotch Pie from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

This pie gets its name from Granny Compton – my husband’s great-grandmother. I found this recipe tucked in a cookbook at my in-laws’ home many, many years ago. I loved the way it was written down and copied it verbatim. The instructions included things like using a cast iron skillet and a potato masher and had measurements like “the size of a walnut.” I loved it. And you’ll love this pie.

Granny – Tacy – and her husband Herman lived in this little home in the mountains of east Tennessee, only a 3 minute walk from where my in-laws still live.


My husband has fond memories of going into her kitchen where a big stock pot sunk down into her stove top. When she knew they were coming, that stock pot would be filled with green beans and potatoes, and no one was allowed to eat them but my hubby…who you see here in her arms.


Those are my sisters-in-law there in the photo with them.


Granny Compton left this world a decade ago at the golden age of 99 years old. Herman passed away before my husband and I were married.


So any time I make this pie, I think of Tacy – Granny Compton.

How to Make Butterscotch Pie

In a cast iron skillet (or a sauce pan if you want to go the modern route) combine 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tb cornstarch, and a pinch of salt.


Stir it all together. Granny Compton used a potato masher…I’ll go with a whisk here.


In a bowl, combine the yolks of three eggs and 2 cups of milk.


Whisk those together and pour them into the skillet.


Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble and gets “good and thick.”



Add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Granny’s original recipe didn’t use vanilla – that is my only alteration. (**NOTE: the last time I made this, I added 2 tablespoons of bourbon at this stage. It was fantastic. I will add that as an “optional” in the printable.)


Continue to cook this until the butter is melted in and combined.


Pour this into a baked pie shell.


Cool to room temperature and then chill for at least an hour. This pie will remain slightly soft, so you’ll want to use a “pie guard” or some foil to keep the pie from slowly slipping into the plate – if you have any leftover.


Serve with a little whipped cream. Enjoy!

Granny Compton's Butterscotch Pie from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Granny Compton's Butterscotch Pie from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Granny Compton’s Butterscotch Pie

Constance Smith - Cosmopolitan Cornbread
A vintage recipe passed down from my children's great-great-grandmother.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Course Sweets, Treats & Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 1 pie
Calories 274 kcal


  • 1 baked pie shell
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 3 Tb cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 c milk
  • 1 1/2 Tb butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tb bourbon, optional


  • In an iron skillet, stir together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Pour those into the skillet and begin stirring the mixture over medium heat.
  • Cook until the pudding becomes "good and thick."
  • Stir in the butter, vanilla, and bourbon (if using).
  • Continue to stir and cook another minute or so, until the butter is completely mixed in.
  • Pour into the baked pie shell.
  • Allow the pie to come to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy topped with whipped cream.


Serving: 1cCalories: 274kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 110mgFiber: 1gSugar: 35g

Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.

Did You Try This?I'd Love For You to Share it on Instagram and tag me! @CosmopolitanCornbread

6 thoughts on “Granny Compton’s Butterscotch Pie”

  1. My mother in law makes a butterscotch pie and was my husbands favorite. But this looks so delicious and I’m sure may even be better. My question was on the part about the Pie Guard/or foil in case the pie slips in the pan. I’m not a novice cook but am unsure of what you are meaning? (It’s probably so obvious :(). I’d love to make this pie and will do so.

    So appreciate your website and YouTube videos. I’ve made the apron (love it) and so many other things that you’ve given us access to. Bless you.

    • Thank you Shari! Yes, the custard (filling) of this pie can sometimes be rather soft. So when you cut the pie, and place any uneaten portion back in the fridge, the cut edges may “ooze” into the opening. So I place something against those cut edges so that the filling stays where it should be. I’m afraid I don’t have a photo of that, but after this week I could maybe add one, since I’ll be making a couple pies this week :) I hope that clarifies it a little.

  2. I love butterscotch more than anything! I need to try this out! Thank you! I love butterscotch more than chocolate!
    My recent post What I Learned During #bloglikecrazy

  3. My fiance loves butterscotch – I think I'm going to have to try this one out! Thanks for sharing!
    My recent post Just Say "No" to A Strange Man's Bananas


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