HomeRecipesOld-Fashioned Caramel Pie

Old-Fashioned Caramel Pie

Rich and dense, this pie is a caramel lover’s dream. Featured in the new Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler, this recipe is from the kitchen of her friend Cindy Ettingoff’s grandmother. Chandler believes made-from-scratch caramel pies are far superior to shortcut ones made with condensed milk caramel and promises this one is worth the effort.

caramel_piesm1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 cups of 2 percent or whole milk
3 large egg yolks
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Pinch of kosher salt
1 (9-inch) baked pie crust, homemade or store-bought
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup granulated or confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place 3/4 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook the sugar over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized. It should take around 10 minutes. Keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together milk and eggs in a medium saucepan for the custard. Add the flour and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture thickens. This should also take around 10 minutes. It is best to caramelize the sugar and make the custard at the same time so neither cooks for too long.

Add caramelized sugar to the custard, whisking continuously. If the caramel hardens, just continue whisking over medium heat until it has melted and the mixture is smooth and thick. This should take 5-8 minutes. Then stir in the butter and salt.

Pour custard into the baked pie crust and refrigerate until chilled and set, which should take a least 1 hour.

To serve, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream over each slice. Serves 8.

Recipe and photo from The Southern Pantry Cookbook, courtesy of Nelson Books.

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  • Taylor / November 26, 2015

    When do you add the vanilla? And do you add it after the custard and caramalized sugar is combined. I’m making this today and disappointed that the instructions are not very detailed.

  • Melinda Russell / August 6, 2017

    Sounds delish! And agreed! So much better than Condensed milk version! I would use the leftover egg whites and make a meringue rather than whipped cream, though. One little tip that is so important to me ( it keeps eggs from getting clumpy from cooking unevenly – mix sugar, flour and egg yolks, add a tiny bit of the milk to get it to mix, then scald the rest of the milk & drizzle it into the bowl while whisking. Then, return all of the mixture to pan and cook as you said.

  • Jan / November 20, 2018

    You need to correct the recipe because in the ingredients is listed 1tsp vanilla but it does not tell you when to add it! There’s also one listed in whipping cream ingredients!

  • Christine / May 20, 2021

    Can you freeze this pie?

  • Allan / December 6, 2022

    Is this printable?